American Dog Tick (Female) - Dermacentor variabilis
Female American Dog Ticks are reddish-brown and have a white or yellowish pattern on their scutum.
Habitat: My cat found this tick crawling across my livingroom floor. I'm guessing it hitchhiked on me or my kids since we had been hiking earlier that day. Thankfully it wasn't smart enough to feed on us while it had the chance.
Notes: Dog ticks are frequently found in areas with little or no tree cover, such as in fields and along trails. They feed on a variety of hosts, including mice, raccoons, cats, dogs, deer, and humans. The nymphs and adults can transmit diseases, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia, but they are not competent vectors of Lyme Disease. They can survive for up to 2 years at any given stage if no host is found.
''Dermacentor variabilis'', also known as the American dog tick or wood tick, is a species of tick that is known to carry bacteria responsible for several diseases in humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia . It is one of the most well-known hard ticks.