There’s more to Arizona than extreme dry heat and swimming pools. When you’re traveling to Arizona or taking up residence there, ticks can be a nuisance or even a danger. With all of the threatening diseases carried by ticks, it’s understandable that you want to protect yourself.
We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to Arizona ticks so you know exactly what to prepare for. Learning more about different species of ticks can help you stay ahead of these pesky parasites.
Does Arizona Have Ticks?
Ticks belong to the order Ixodida, which is a large order of arachnids. The most well-known arachnids are spiders, but ticks can be even more of a pest — and even more dangerous to human health.
There are a few tick species that take up residence in Arizona. Fortunately, only a few of them carry disease-causing germs and viruses. The area of Arizona that you live in or visit matters when it comes to native tick species.
For example, northern Arizona is home to the Rocky Mountain wood tick. You’re much more likely to be bitten by that species than, say, a black-legged tick.
Species like the black-legged tick have limited distributions across the state and are only present in specific conditions. Black-legged ticks reside in higher elevations of the Hualapai Mountains and only come out in late winter and early spring.
Knowing specific information like this can help you avoid Arizona tick exposure as much as possible.
How Common Are Ticks in Arizona?
In the past, ticks weren’t very common throughout Arizona, but that is changing. As ticks travel into new areas across the United States, states like Arizona are experiencing increases in tickborne diseases.
The most common tick species in Arizona is the brown dog tick. This species targets domesticated animals — specifically dogs, as the name implies. Knowing about each of the common Arizona tick species can help you stay on the lookout for them and avoid them whenever possible.
Types of Ticks in Arizona
These tick species are the most notable throughout Arizona. They are vectors for human and animal diseases and should be avoided at all costs. While some tickborne diseases in Arizona are not fatal, they can be dangerous and affect your long-term health.
Brown Dog Ticks
The brown dog tick has a reddish-brown color and are mostly pests of pet dogs but they will bite humans, too. Domesticated dogs are the preferred host for this tick species, and in Arizona, there are plenty of them. Brown dog ticks are known to infest kennels and homes.
This species carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other dangerous canine diseases. If you have a beloved pet that you want to protect, avoiding the brown dog tick is essential.
Brown dog ticks are not known to carry many human diseases and don’t prefer human hosts. However, there have been cases of human infestations with this tick species. Always be on the lookout for them.
Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks
Rocky Mountain wood ticks have a distinct appearance. They are reddish-brown and oval-shaped, making them easier to spot than some other types of ticks. Wood ticks are more commonly encountered in the mountains and foothills.
This species has a wide range of preferred hosts. They can feed on mammals (including humans), birds, and rodents and medium-sized mammals like skunks and racoons.
Rocky Mountain wood ticks are especially active in late spring. When you spend time outdoors during this season, make sure you do thorough tick checks to avoid becoming a host for this species.
When Is Tick Season in Arizona?
Different regions and climates in Arizona experience different tick seasons. However, ticks are generally most active during the summer and other warmer months. Expect more ticks to be present from spring through early fall.
Most human and pet encounters with ticks occur in winter and spring. During these months, be extra vigilant about checking for ticks on yourself, your children, and your pets.
How to Protect Yourself From Ticks in Arizona
There are a few tactics you can use to protect yourself from ticks in Arizona. Whether you’re traveling to this region or you’re a local resident, it’s important to guard your health. Your well-being is priceless, and ticks are notorious for being nasty disease vectors. Take these steps to repel ticks while you’re in Arizona.
Do Thorough Tick Checks After Being Outdoors
Check your skin, head, and clothing after you spend time outside in Arizona. Look for small red, brown, and black dots that may indicate a tick’s presence. It’s also a good idea to check your pets.
Keep Your Yard Well-Maintained
Ticks are attracted to tall grass and brush, so make sure your yard is neat and well-trimmed. Get rid of any leaf piles and clutter from trees that litter your yard. The fewer hiding places there are, the fewer ticks you’re likely to see.
Use Tick Preventative Medicine for Pets
There are flea and tick medications you can use to prevent these pests from infesting dogs and cats. While medications are common for pets, you can also use insect repellent clothing and accessories for dogs to help prevent tick bites. Use an effective tick preventative year-round to ensure your pets don’t become delicious hosts for brown dog ticks especially.
Wear Insect Shield Clothing
Our clothing is treated with permethrin, an insecticide that also repels ticks. Permethrin treated clothing can be used by the entire family without restrictions and will help reduce your chances of being bitten.
Shop Insect Shield to Prevent Ticks From Latching Onto You
Ticks are an unfortunate reality in Arizona. Residents and visitors should do everything they can to avoid becoming hosts for these pests. At Insect Shield, we take your health seriously. Our top-quality Insect Shield clothing can deter ticks and other pests from attaching to you and your loved ones.