Dog Ticks Are Scary. Deer Ticks Are Evil. Can You Tell Them Apart?
Do you think that ticks really have been weaponized?
I'm only kind of kidding. But really, when I was a kid, they just weren't as bad as they are now. We literally used to live in waist-high grass when I was young. These days, it seems if I just take my dog out for a five minute walk through the yard so he can do some business, and I have to pull half a dozen between the two of us.
To make matters worse, there are some 14 different species of ticks in Maine, but only some are out to get you. And even then, with some of the ones that aren't out to get you, they just look like gigantic mutant ticks that could gnaw your leg off if they felt like it. A lot of Mainers are quite aware of the difference, but if you don't...
There's two main kinds of ticks you'll see typically.
Deer ticks and dog ticks. You've probably already seen a bunch of deer ticks this spring, but I'm already seeing people on Reddit and Facebook who are talking about dog ticks. And if you've never seen a dog tick, they are super scary looking, compared to deer ticks. They look like ticks on steroids. It's nuts.
Take a look at this graphic from the Maine CDC:
Those descriptions give you an idea of the size difference I'm talking about, as well. Plus, also take not of the different colorations. But on the scale of bugs this size, an apple seed seems huge compared to a sesame seed. And the first time you pull one off you or your dog, it's quite apparent.
But the most important part to keep in mind, is that despite their enormous and frightening size, dog ticks don't carry any known diseases. As opposed to deer ticks, which are legendary for their ability to spread Lyme Disease. You want those little jerks off your person ASAP, and douse them in alcohol to kill them, if you can.
Ultimately, there's all sorts of things crawling around out yards, wanting to do us in. But at least if you're out with your dog, or even just out doing yard work, you'll know the difference if you see anything crawling on you. Knowledge is power, folks...