Female American Dog Ticks

The female American dog tick, also known as the brown dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) is one of the most easily recognizable ticks. Engorged adult females may grow to be as large as 12 mm in size. Following feeding, these female ticks drop from their hosts in order to lay eggs.

While female American dog ticks may not lay their eggs for weeks after feeding, the blood collected within their engorged bodies sustains them. Female American dog ticks only reproduce once prior to dying, although each female lays thousands of eggs at a time, thus ensuring the survival of the species.

The American dog tick is common in most parts of the United States. They can be found in meadows, forests and along weed-lined trails. Inside, American dog ticks dwell near potted plants and near the bedding of their hosts. American dog ticks are vectors of several harmful diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.