Brown Dog Ticks
The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineuls) is unique in its ability to complete the entire life cycle indoors. As a result, brown dog tick populations can be found throughout the world, including areas with frigidly cold outdoor temperatures.
The life cycle of the brown dog tick is similar to that of other tick species in the family Ixodidae: beginning as eggs, they develop through larval and nymphal stages prior to maturing into adults. Brown dog ticks are three-host ticks, meaning that they drop off the host after the meal before each of their developmental stages. However, if necessary, a brown dog tick can remain with one host throughout its life.
Brown dog ticks are red-brown in color and are slightly longer than other tick species. As their name implies, brown dog ticks prefer to feed on the blood of canines. They are also known to bite and feed upon humans and other animal hosts.
Brown dog ticks tend to enter indoor habitats on the fur or hair of infested pets. Because they nest deep within the hair of animals, these ticks are not immediately apparent. Pet owners typically do not notice an infestation until populations grow considerably large and ticks are visible crawling across floors or walls.
In homes, all areas frequented by house pets should be kept clean. In the event of an infestation severe enough to require pesticides, homeowners are advised to contact their local pest control professionals.
Brown dog ticks are often mistaken for deer ticks, which are known carriers of Lyme disease. However, brown dog ticks instead transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If there are medical concerns regarding a tick bite, consult a medical professional.