There are a wide variety of different types of ticks in the United States. A study conducted by the Medical College of Georgia between 1995 and 1998 collected, from just 14 states, 677 different species specimens. However, four of the most common types of ticks are: the American Dog; the Black-Legged; the Brown Dog; and the Lone Star.
American Dog Tick
When photographed or examined up close, all four of these species resemble a cross between a spider and a beetle. The American Dog tick is most common in the spring, and prefers humid, coastal areas. It attaches itself dogs, cows, humans and other animals. The adults feed off the host organism, while the larvae and young nymphs prefer to attach to rodents and squirrels. Perhaps the greatest misconception about the American Dog tick is its lifespan. It can take anywhere from three months to three years for such a tick to complete its life cycle.
Brown Dog Tick
Unlike the American Dog tick, the Brown Dog tick does not generally feed off humans, focusing strictly on dogs and other animals. They are remarkably resilient, like cockroaches. An adult Brown Dog tick has been found to be able to live up to six and a half months without a blood feeding. Meanwhile, the Lone Star tick – true to its name – is native to the state of Texas, and are present throughout the year.
The Black Legged tick, also known as the Deer tick or even the Bear tick, is a primary carrier of Lyme disease. It is much smaller than the other types of ticks mentioned above, but like them and most other areas, calls as its natural outdoor habitat wooded and brushy areas of wilderness. The good news is that these ticks, if infected with Lyme disease, must attach to humans for several days in order to pass it on, which in today’s world is a rare if not impossible premise to begin with. Long before that length of time is reached, the tick will be discovered and-or washed off.
Medical College of Georgia – Attachment Sites of Four Tick Species, Retrieved November 24, 2010 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10337108
North Carolina State University – Ticks, Retrieved November 24, 2010 from http://cipm.ncsu.edu/ent/southern_region/ripm/chap8/ticks/tickmain.htm