It is thought that American dog ticks are attracted by the scent of animals, so they are common along roads and trails. Adult ticks prefer domestic dogs as hosts and can therefore be brought into the home and potentially transferred to humans.
These ticks prefer grassy areas with low vegetation where larger mammals pass by. American dog ticks do not survive well indoors.
The American dog tick is the primary vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the United States. It is also known to transmit tularemia, a rare bacterial infection, and cause tick paralysis.