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Brown Dog Tick

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Life Cycle

Adult male ticks are flat, uniformly red-brown with tiny pits scattered over the back. They do not enlarge upon feeding as do females.

Before feeding, adult female ticks resemble the males in size, shape and color. As they feed, females become engorged and swell. The legs, mouthparts and shield area behind the head remain red-brown, but the enlarged portion of the body becomes gray-blue to olive. The red-brown color is distinctive and no other tick normally encountered will be uniformly red-brown.

Figure 1: Adult male Brown dog tick.

   

Figure 2: Adult female Brown dog tick.

Egg-laying begins about three days after the engorged adult female drops from the dog.

The female tick may deposit as many as 5,000 eggs in places such as between boards, under plaster or carpeting, or in other cracks and crevices. The eggs usually hatch in about three weeks, although up to several months may be required under particularly cool or dry conditions.

After hatching, the larvae wait months while waiting for a host. Once on the host, the larvae feed for about three days and then drop off. Molting occurs about one week after the blood meal, and nymphs emerge to climb vegetation or vertical surfaces to again wait for a host.

Figure 3: Nymph of the Brown dog tick.

The feeding of the nymphs will last about four days, after which they again to drop off and molt into the adult stage. Adults can live up to 1 1/2 years, without feeding, but must feed before mating. After mating, the female completely engorges herself with blood and then drops off the host to lay eggs.

The adults commonly attach to the ears and between the toes and the larvae and nymphs are often found in hair along the back. While these developmental stages are often found on the indicated host body regions, they are not restricted to these regions and may be found on practically any part of the dog's body.

   

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