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Brown Dog Tick

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What Is The Brown Dog Tick?

Brown dog ticks are, as their name suggests, reddish-brown in color and prefer to feed on domestic dogs. Brown dog ticks, at least in the United States, prefer to feed on domestic dogs and their proximity to dogs is a necessary condition to cultivate a large population. As a result, brown dog ticks rarely bite humans. However, if there is an absence of canine hosts, brown dog ticks will feed on humans if no other food source is available. 

Where Do Brown Dog Ticks Live?

Brown dog ticks can commonly be found indoors in kennels. While most ticks must live at least part of their life outdoors, if not the good majority of it, brown dog ticks are unique in that they can complete their entire life cycle both indoors and outdoors. As a result, brown dog ticks can easily infest dog kennels and residences. 

What Do Brown Dog Ticks Look Like?

Like all ticks, brown dog ticks look different before and after they have fed. Before a blood meal, adult brown dog ticks are about 1/8th of an inch long. After they have fed, they grow up to about 1/2 an inch long. Male and female dog ticks both have flat, reddish-brown oval bodies when they haven’t eaten recently, but after a meal they may become gray-blue or even olive in color. Male dog ticks are covered by a scutum, or shield, that guards their entire back and is characterized by tiny pits. Female dog ticks are only partially covered by a scutum. 

What Diseases Do Brown Dog Ticks Carry?

Brown dog tick populations can become drastically large in kennels if left uncontrolled. High infestation levels can cause a lot of irritation to dogs living in these conditions. Additionally, brown dog ticks are vectors of several pathogens that cause diseases in dogs. These include, canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis which can cause lameness, depression, weight loss and fever. These pathogens rarely cause disease in humans. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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