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Brown dog tick

Brown dog tick is probably the most widely distributed tick in the world and is found throughout US.

Black-legged Tic

Brown dog tick

Brown dog tick is easily recognized. It is small, red-brown in color (called the red dog tick in other parts of the world), and lacking any ornamentation. Although not sufficient for formal identification, it can be recognized by its by red-brown color, elongated body shape, and hexagonal basis capituli. The hexagonal basis capituli is a particularly good identifying character, as only one other tick species .

The brown dog tick infests homes and other buildings harboring dogs. These ticks have a strong tendency to crawl upward and may be found behind moldings at the top of walls or hidden in cracks and crevices in the ceiling. They may also be found behind curtains, in furniture, and under rugs.

Life Cycle: The brown dog tick life cycle includes four stages: egg, larva or seed tick, nymph, and adult. Differences in size and color occur between each life stage, leading people to conclude there are several different species of ticks infesting their dogs and homes. Brown dog ticks prefer dogs as the primary host during all stages of development. Both males and females must consume a bloodmeal between each stage of the life cycle.

Engorged Brown dog ticks

Brown dog ticks Life Cycle

A blood-feeding adult female can swell in size to 12 mm, and she turns from brown to gray or olive as she becomes engorged. The blood-engorged female will drop off the host and find a sheltered place to lay up to 5,000 eggs. Eggs usually hatch within 3 to 8 weeks, and the newly hatched larvae (seed ticks) are no bigger than a pinhead. The light-colored larvae have six legs during this life stage.

After blood feeding, the seed ticks drop off the host, and they hide in cracks and crevices from one to several weeks while they molt into the nymph stage. Nymphs and adults are brown and they have eight legs. Immature brown dog ticks can survive for many months without feeding, and adults can survive more than a year.Usually, the brown dog tick’s life cycle spans 2 years. However, if hosts are readily available, the tick’s entire life cycle can take place within 3 to 4 months..

Management :The best management strategy is prevention of infestations in the house or kennel. Discuss tick control with your veterinarian; preventing engorgement of the ticks on dogs is critical to management of the tick and the well-being of the dog.Treatments with fipronil (in sprays and spot-ons), amitraz (often in flea and tick collars), permethrin (sprays and shampoos) and deltamethrin (shampoos) have been reported as effective. Regular treatment will minimize the chances of a dog picking up a tick and the tick successfully feeding


Engorged Brown dog ticks

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF): The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae),feeds primarily on dogs and until recently was not known to vector Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).

brown dog ticks to be very abundant in areas associated with human cases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implicated that the brown dog tick was responsible for transmitting RMSF. Brown dog ticks occur throughout the United States and the world.


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