Brown Dog Tick

Brown Dog Tick

Common Name:

Brown Dog Ticks

Scientific Name:

Rhipicephalus sanguineus


Unengorged adults are about 1/8″ (3 mm) long, but enlarge up to about 1/2″ (12 mm) long when engorged with blood. Body flattened dorsoventrally (top to bottom). Reddish brown in color, but when engorged, engorged parts of the body change to gray-blue or olive color. Dorsal shield covers entire dorsum on male but only the front part on the female. See the Brown Dog Tick Photo on the right.

Places Most Commonly Found:

The engorged female drops off the host dog and seeks a sheltered spot in which to lay her mass of typically 1,000 – 3,000 tiny, dark brown eggs. Since she has a tendency to crawl upwards, eggs are often deposited in cracks and crevices near wall hangings, ceilings, or roofs. She dies afterwards and the eggs hatch in 19 – 60 days into minute larva (6 legged) “seed” ticks. The larva seek a host where they will feed and drop off to molt. After passing through the nymph stage, the adults attach to a dog at the first opportunity. However they can survive up to 18 months before attachment. Under favorable conditions the egg to egg cycle can be completed in about 2 months and it is not uncommon to have up to 4 generations per year in the South. Brown Dog Ticks do not do well outdoors in the woods in the United States. They prefer warm, dry conditions where dogs live. They do not travel far after engorgement and dropping off the host. Brown dog tick infestation is possible if not proactive when you find them on your property.

Most Active Period:

Larval and nymph activity begins in mid-March followed by adult activity in April. Mild winters and warm spring temperatures will accelerate the brown dog tick life cycle. Activity peaks during the summer and given that 4 generations per year are not uncommon, populations will spike from mid to late summer.

Difficulty of Control:

Brown Dog Tick removal is moderate to control outdoors and difficult to eliminate all larvae and nymphs indoors when eggs hatch in cracks and crevices.

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