Physical Characteristics

The adult brown dog tick ranges from 1/8 inch long, before a blood meal, to 1/2 inch long when engorged with blood. Its body is oval, flat, and colored reddish-brown unless it’s just taken a blood meal, which will turn the parts that store the blood to appear gray-blue or olive. The scutum, or dorsal shield behind the mouth, covers the male’s back, but only the front part of the female’s back.

Carpenter Ant

Brown Dog Tick


Brown dog ticks aren’t structural pests, but they are the most common tick found on dogs. Unlike the American dog tick or the western blacklegged tick, brown dog ticks aren’t as inclined to attack humans. But females do lay their eggs – typically, 1,000 to 3,000 of them – in cracks or crevices near wall hangings, ceilings or roofs. When the eggs hatch into six-legged larvae, or seed nymphs, they crawl down walls to find a host dog. They feed for three to six days, then drop off to molt, and in a couple weeks they’re adults, ready to ride the dog. Adults will latch on to the ears or behind toes, while larvae and nymphs will go for the dog’s back.  


Sanitation is important; inside the home should be cleaned thoroughly before treatment, and any dog beds or favorite resting spots should get extra attention. Your Clark technician will know where inside to treat, along with what areas outside should be treated; you can help by pointing out where your dogs or other animals like to spend time. As for the pets themselves, get them treated at the veterinarian or grooming parlor the same day your Clark technician is treating your home, for best results.

Latin name: Rhipicephalus sanguineus