Ticks are tiny pests that may latch themselves onto you or your pets. They may also transmit harmful diseases and hamper the time you spend outdoors. Unfortunately, several types of ticks can invade your property, and the 3 most common ticks in South Dakota that you might encounter are deer ticks, dog ticks, and lone star ticks. Continue reading this blog to learn more about these types of ticks and what you can do to keep them off of your lawn!

1. Deer Ticks

Deer ticks are one of the more common varieties of ticks that are found in South Dakota. These ticks are also called black-legged ticks because of—you guessed it—their dark, black legs. Female deer ticks have flat, oval bodies and are typically less than an eighth of an inch in length. When they feed on blood, their bodies become dark red to brown, becoming darker as the tick becomes more engorged.

This tick is known as a three-host tick, which means it has a separate host during each of its life stages: larva, nymph, and adult. It begins its 2-year life cycle in the spring when an adult female lays thousands of eggs that will hatch in the summer as larvae. They usually pick a small mammal, like a mouse or a chipmunk, as a host during this stage, before dropping off and overwintering. They then molt into nymphs and find another host to feed off of. They then molt into the adult stage, and will try and find a larger host such as a deer, or even humans in some instances!

Deer ticks can transmit diseases like Lyme disease.

2. Dog Ticks

Often found along the edges of forests, grassy fields, sidewalks, and trails, dog ticks are notorious ticks that are commonly found in and around South Dakota. This tick can be characterized by its reddish-brown body with silver markings on its dorsal shield. When fed, female ticks can grow up to 5 millimeters long, while male dog ticks can only reach up to 3.6 mm long.

Like deer ticks, dog ticks are also three-host ticks, feeding on different hosts during their 3 life stages. It can feed on small animals like rodents as larvae and nymphs, while adult ticks prefer livestock and humans as hosts. They are most active from April to early August when conditions are warm. Dog ticks can be carriers of various diseases like the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and tularemia.

3. Lone Star Ticks

Lone star ticks are another common type of tick found in South Dakota and can be characterized by their reddish-brown to tan bodies with a distinct cream or white-colored spot. The bodies of lone star ticks are about 1/4 inch long when unfed, but can grow up to 1/2 inch long when engorged. A unique characteristic of lone star ticks is that their bites can lead to the development of allergies to red meat.

Call us today to sign up for our tick control service!

Our team at Sharp Lawn Care offers a tick control service to commercial and residential properties, as well as HOAs, in Sioux Falls, Tea, Harrisburg, Brandon, and nearby areas in South Dakota. We also offer this service to property owners in and around Sioux City, IA. When you sign up for this service, we will visit your property multiple times throughout the year to apply our treatments to your lawn to keep ticks at bay. What's more, our treatments are also highly effective against fleas! If you're in the Sioux Falls, SD area, you can reach us at (605) 251-6880 to sign up, while those in Sioux City, IA can call us at (712) 253-8024 to get started today!