This tick is a potential vector of Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia. It seems to be found most often in dense forest areas where thick underbrush is present. The bite of the tick often causes a large circular rash similar to that of Lyme Disease, but the Lone Star Tick to date has not been shown to be a vector of Lyme. It feeds readily upon many animals, including household pets and humans, and it can be a relentless tick when searching for a blood host. The preferred host appears to be livestock such as cattle. It is a 3-host tick, with the larva and nymph stages dropping off the host animal once engorged and seeking a secluded place to digest the meal and molt to the next stage. Development from egg to adult takes at least 2 years and as much as 3 years.
Tick management relies on managing the environment to discourage ticks. This includes keeping grasses mowed short and eliminating rodents that may be nesting on the property and serving as alternate host animals. Excluding larger animals from a property also can reduce the number of ticks present. Pet owners need to be educated on inspecting pets daily for ticks and on the proper way to remove and dispose of ticks. Exterior areas where ticks are present can be treated with a labeled insecticide residual and interior areas also treated carefully. This should involve thorough crack and crevice applications into all possible crevices where the engorged ticks may have secluded themselves following feeding.