Deer Tick vs Dog Tick: Difference and Comparison

Ticks are like parasites. They are stuck into the outer skin or fur of animals and remain there. They are living beings and act as parasites. However, sometimes they are seasonal and sometimes permanent. Ticks cause certain health problems also, in the animals they are stuck to.

Key Takeaways

  1. Deer ticks transmit Lyme disease, whereas dog ticks rarely carry disease-causing pathogens.
  2. Deer ticks have black legs and a black shield, while dog ticks exhibit brown or reddish-brown coloring.
  3. In the United States, deer ticks primarily inhabit the northeastern and upper midwestern regions, while dog ticks are more widespread.

Deer Tick vs Dog Tick

The difference between Deer ticks and Dog ticks lies in the difference in the location they are found, their size, characteristics of appearances, potential health issues they can cause, the places where they can be spotted and their active time. The adult deer tick is about the size of a sesame seed in length, and the nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed in length. However, on the contrary, Ticks on dogs are larger than ticks on deer, but they are still only about a third of an inch long.

Deer Tick vs Dog Tick
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The Deer Tick has eight dark legs, a black shield, and an orange-red body. Deer ticks are tiny creatures. Deer ticks can spread anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, and other diseases. Deer ticks are primarily found in the Midwest.

They also cover areas of the United States’ south and east coasts. They can, however, be found in nearly all 50 U.S. states. Deer ticks can be found in overgrown vegetation, logs, and grasses. They’re also common on outdoor pets.

Dog ticks have eight legs as well, but they’re narrower and feature a white shield on a reddish-brown body. Tick paralysis, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are among possible health concerns caused by Dog Ticks.

Deer ticks are common along the Pacific beaches, in the Gulf of Mexico, and on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. They may, however, survive and reproduce entirely indoors.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDeer TickDog Tick
Size Adults size- Sesame seed, Nymphs size- Poppyseed. Smaller than 1/3rd inches.
Appearance Characteristics Red-orange body, eight legs, black shield.Reddish-brown body, eight legs, white shield.
Potential health problemsAnaplasmosis, Lyme disease, babesiosis. Tick Paralysis, spotted fever, tularemia.
LocationsCentral, southern, eastern US; in all 50 states. Eastern Rocky Mountains, Pacific Coasts, along the Gulf.
Can be spottedNatural areas of overgrown logs, plants, grass; pets living outside.Naturals environment, trails, walkways, kennels, dog beds.
Active time Early fall of late springs April- August

What is Deer Tick?

Deer ticks have eight dark legs, a black coloured shield, and an orange-red body. The size of Deer ticks is really small. The adult deer tick is about the size of a sesame seed in length, while the nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed in length.

Deer ticks are capable of transmitting diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, and others. Deer ticks are mostly found in the Midwest of the United States.

They also encompass areas of the United States’ southern and eastern regions. They are, nevertheless, found in nearly all 50 states.

Deer ticks can be found in naturally overgrown plant regions, logs, and grasses. They’re also common on pets who spend most of their time outside. Deer ticks are most active in the early fall and late spring, particularly when the temperature outside remains above freezing.

deer tick

What is Dog Tick?

Dog ticks have eight legs as well, but they have a narrower shape with a white shield on a reddish-brown body. Ticks on dogs are slightly larger than ticks on deer, although they are still smaller than one-third of an inch.

Tick paralysis, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are all potential health concerns caused by Dog Ticks.

Deer ticks can be found along the Pacific coasts, in the Gulf of Mexico, and on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. They can, however, live indoors and finish their life cycle there. Ticks on dogs are most active from April through August.

Dog ticks can be found in regions with little or no vegetation, outdoor locations where pets or tamed animals spend time or sleep, pathways and walkways, kennels, and dog beds.

dog tick

Main Differences Between Deer Tick and Dog Tick

  1. Deer Tick possesses dark legs, eight in number, with a black coloured shield and an orange-red body. On the other hand, Dog Ticks also possess eight legs, but they have a narrow shape with a grooved shield that is white on a reddish-brown body.
  2. The size of the Deer ticks is very small. The adult deer tick is equivalent to the size of the length of a sesame seed, and the nymphs are characterized by the size or length of a poppy seed. On the other hand, Dog Ticks are sized comparatively bigger than Deer ticks but are a bit smaller than one-third of an inch.
  3. Deer Ticks are capable of causing certain potential health issues like anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease and many more. On the other hand, the potential health problems caused by Dog Ticks are tick paralysis, tularemia, and spotted fever of Rocky Mountain.
  4. Deer Ticks are located mainly in the central United States. They also cover parts of the southern and eastern United States as well. However, they are found more or less in every 50 states. On the other, Deer Ticks are found prevalent along the Pacific coasts, the Gulf and on the eastern sides of the Rocky Mountains. However, they can also live indoors and complete their whole life cycle there.
  5. Deer Ticks can be encountered in areas of naturally overgrown plants, logs and grasses. They can also be found on pets that live outside. On the other hand, Dog Ticks can be encountered in natural areas which lack tree cover, outdoor areas where pets or tamed animals spend time or sleep, trails and walkways, kennels, and dog beds.
  6. Deer Ticks are active through the early fall of late spring, especially when the surrounding temperature remains above freezing temperature. On the other hand, Dog Ticks are active from April to August.
Difference Between Deer Tick and Dog Tick
References
  1. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0615/p2323
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jme/article-abstract/29/2/352/2221076

Last Updated : 11 August, 2023

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