- Color: uniformly red-brown.
- Size: 1/8 inch long when not engorged.
- Mouthparts are easily seen; the body is flattened and shaped like a tear-drop.
- The female’s shield-like area remains unchanged, but the rest of her body stretches and changes from red-brown to blue-gray, and her body size increases to 1/2-inch long as she engorges (fills with blood) while feeding.
Habits of Brown Dog Ticks:
- Engorged females drop off the host dog seeking a quiet location in which to deposit a mass of 1,000 to 3,000 eggs within cracks or crevices near the ceiling or roof of kennels and indoors around wall hangings and the ceiling.
- After hatching, the six-legged larvae move down the wall and attach to a dog as soon as possible. After engorging, they drop off and molt into the eight-legged nymphs, which, in turn, molt into the adults after another blood meal.
- Adults also feed on dogs.
- Developmental time (egg to adult): can be as short as two months.
- There typically are two to four generations per year.
- Adults can live unfed for 18 months.
Damage From Brown Dog Ticks:
- The brown dog tick is a southern pest but can become established within homes and kennels in more northern areas.
- Brown dog ticks seldom feed on humans because they are almost exclusively a parasite of dogs; they are annoying and frightening to homeowners, however, when seen on walls or furnishings in homes where the dog is infested.
- Ticks on dogs and larval ticks high on walls and within kennels.
How to Control and Kill Brown Dog Ticks:
- The infested home or kennel should be thoroughly cleaned in order to eliminate as many ticks as possible. Indoors, pet bedding and resting areas should be thoroughly vacuumed in order to remove most of the ticks.
- Kennels, dog houses, and houses occupied by pet dogs should be thoroughly treated in order to control ticks that have dropped off the dog and that are residing in harborage areas.
- Infested dogs should be treated by a veterinarian, pet groomer, or the owner on the same day that the premises are treated.