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5 Different Types of Ticks in Michigan (With Pictures)

Silver pliers with dog adult tick

Ticks are problematic little pests that are capable of spreading dangerous diseases and affecting the lives of our pets and loved ones. Between tularemia and Lyme disease, getting bit by a tick is no joke. With so many perfect places for ticks to thrive, Michigan is home to five tick species that you’ll need to look out for. Let’s learn more about them below.

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The 5 Types of Ticks in Michigan

1. American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

American dog tick
Image Credit: Anest, Shutterstock

The American Dog tick is by far the most popular tick that is found in the state of Michigan. They are most active from early May through November. These ticks bite both humans and our beloved pets and can spread tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Look out for them in Michigan’s forests and grassy areas.

2. Black-Legged Tick (Ixodes scapularis)

black legged deer tick
Image By: Steven Ellingson, Shutterstock

Around the size of a sesame seed, the Black-Legged tick is another pest that you need to look out for while in Michigan. Bites from these ticks are a serious health concern because they spread Lyme disease, babesiosis, and granulocytic anaplasmosis. Find them hanging out in low vegetation and forests where there are a lot of small mammals nearby.

3. Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma Americanum)

Lone star tick
Image By: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock

The easiest way to distinguish this tick from the others found in Michigan is by the “Lone Star” mark found on their backs. This tick bites both humans and animals, so you have to be careful when walking through wooded areas where there are lots of white-tailed deer. They can spread monocytic ehrlichiosis and tularemia.

4. Woodchuck Tick (Ixodes cookei)

This is the tick that is found most commonly on pets in Michigan. In fact, they are mostly found near skunk and woodchuck dens. However, they will occasionally bite humans as well. They are known for spreading Powassan encephalitis, so be sure to give your pets a thorough lookover whenever coming in from a walk.

5. Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)

brown dog tick
Image By: NOPPHARAT539. Shutterstock

The last tick on our list is the Brown Dog tick. Also commonly called the kennel tick, this pest has a unique ability to thrive and breed in indoor areas, so keep up hygienic practices around your home. Be careful with these ticks—they can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine babesiosis.

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When Are Ticks Most Active?

That answer depends on where you live. However, ticks in Michigan are mostly active from April to September. Warm weather helps these pests thrive, so you’ll have to be extra cautious until the snow starts falling.

Tick Bite Precautions

Nobody wants to get bit by a tick, and neither do your pets. So, let’s take a look at some tips for preventing coming into contact with them.

  • Wear long pants and sleeves with closed-toe shoes to keep ticks from latching onto your skin.
  • Start learning how to identify ticks and differentiate them from other pests so that you can take the necessary next steps.
  • Stay in the center of trails when walking through woods or vegetative areas.
  • Always carefully inspect yourself, family members, and pets after being outside near tall grass or wooded areas.
  • Wear insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET.
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Tick bites could have some pretty serious consequences for all your loved ones, including your furry friends. If you encounter a tick and have been bitten, be sure to seek medical attention. For pets, be sure to take them to the veterinarian right away. Also, don’t try to remove them by pulling on their bodies or you could leave the head lodged into the skin. At the end of the day, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Featured Image Credit: Napat, Shutterstock


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