As arachnids, mature wood ticks (Dermacentor andersoni) have four pairs of legs that allow them to crawl efficiently through their surroundings and the hair or fur of their hosts. Male wood ticks are identifiable by mottled gray coloration along their backs. Females bear almost completely gray coloration behind their heads.
They are found in wooded or grassy areas and may also be referred to as Rocky Mountain wood ticks. Wood ticks are known to be transmitters of tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Colorado tick fever. These diseases are passed on through the bite of these arachnids.
Because they are unable to fly, wood ticks situate themselves near areas frequented by their preferred hosts. They then latch onto the passing animal and begin to feed. In order to avoid wood tick infestations, keep grass around the home well trimmed. Inspect pets and people carefully after outings. If you locate a feeding tick, remove it from the victim with tweezers or forceps. Do not squeeze the body of the tick, as this may further transmit harmful bodily fluids. It is also imperative that the mouthparts of the tick be completely removed from the bite site.