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Brown Dog Tick


The brown dog tick seldom attacks animals other than dogs. It is most likely found where dogs are kept in or around the house. The brown dog tick is not known to transmit diseases to humans but may transmit disease among dogs.

Brown dog tick (male left & female right)

Brown dog tick (male left & female right).
CREDITS: J. F. Butler, University of Florida

The adult female tick lays a mass of 1000-3000 eggs after engorging on a dog's blood. These eggs are often found in cracks on the roof of kennels or high on the walls or ceilings of buildings. In the house, eggs are laid around baseboards, window and door casings, curtains, furniture, and edges of rugs. The egg-laying females are often seen going up walls to lay eggs.

The eggs hatch in 19-60 days into a six-legged, small seed tick. The seed tick takes a blood meal from dogs when they are available. The larvae are so small they won't be noticed on the dog unless a number are together. The seed tick remains attached for 3-6 days, turns bluish in color, and then drops to the floor. After dropping from the host, the seed tick hides for 6-23 days before molting into an eight-legged, reddish-brown nymph. It is now ready for another blood meal and again seeks a dog host. The nymphs attach to dogs, drop off, and molt to the adult in 12-29 days. As a reddish-brown adult, it again seeks a blood meal, becomes engorged, and is bluish in color, reaching about 1/3 inch in length.

Unengorged larvae, nymphs, and adults may live for long periods of time without a blood meal. Adults have been known to live for as long as 200 days without a blood meal. Indoors, ticks hiding between blood meals may be found behind baseboards, window casings, window curtains, bookcases, inside upholstered furniture, and under edges of rugs. Outdoors, ticks hide near foundations of buildings, in crevices of siding, or beneath the porch.

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