brown tick on a dogs back

What are brown dog ticks?

Brown dog ticks are a species of tick that unlike most other species of ticks can complete their entire lifecycle indoors. These ticks feed on a variety of mammals, but as their name suggests their favorite food source is the canine. The combination of the above two things makes these pests a common problem inside of homes. Adult brown dog ticks are reddish-brown in color, grow to be about 1/8th of an inch long and have a flat elongated body. After having a blood meal their body tends to expand to about ½ of an inch in length and they turn a bluish-gray color.

Why do I have them?

Brown dog ticks are often introduced onto a property by wild animals. When the tick is engorged they will fall off of their host onto the ground where they will hide in the grasses and vegetation. Once they are ready to feed they will attach themselves to a new host, potentially your pets, who will in turn introduce them into your home; where because of their ability to complete their entire lifecycle inside can become quite problematic. Brown dog ticks are also commonly found in areas where groups of dogs are housed together like at campsites or near kennels.

Are they dangerous?

Brown dog ticks rarely feed on people; however, it is important to note that they do have the potential to transmit Rocky Mountains spotted fever to humans. In general brown ticks are more of a concern for our pets and have the potential to transmit serious diseases to pets including enrilichiosis. If you notice brown dog ticks in your home or on your property it is important to take quick action and contact a professional tick control expert.

How do I get rid of brown dog ticks?

Eliminating brown dog ticks from a property can be very difficult because they can be continuously introduced by wild animals. To eliminate brown dog ticks from your home and control their populations on your property, you need the knowledge and experience of a trained professional. The highly trained exterminators here at American Pest understand the habits and habitats of brown dog ticks and can eliminate them through our seasonal tick control services or residential Preferred Care programs. Give us a call to learn more about controlling ticks on your property through our professional, effective, and comprehensive services!

Can I do it myself?

There are many DIY products on the market to “eliminate ticks”, but the truth of the matter is that these products are mostly ineffective, to truly control ticks on a property areas infested by ticks need to be  treated and maintained consistently. Also, many of the products at big box stores can be very harmful to people and pets if not used or mixed correctly. The best solution to a tick infestation is to contact the tick control experts at American Pest; our professionals can control tick populations on Washington, D.C. area properties and keep them from becoming a nuisance and danger to you, your family, and pets.

How soon can you get here?

At American Pest, we pride ourselves on our speed and level of service. For that reason, we make every effort to make sure we can be with you the same or the very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

Every product used by American Pest has first been extensively tested by the EPA and is registered for pest control use. Only then do we apply it following a strict set of guidelines for use around humans and pets.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Brown dog ticks and ticks, in general, are very difficult pests to prevent from being introduced onto your property. However, in addition to putting into place a seasonal tick control service or a year-round pest control plan from American Pest, there are some steps that you can take around your home and property to help prevent a brown dog tick infestation.

  • Dogs and cats that spend time both inside and outside of your home should be treated with a tick preventative under the guidance of their veterinarian.

  • Pets should be inspected daily for the presence of ticks on their body.

  • Areas of your home where your pets spend a lot of time should be regularly vacuumed and mopped; pet bedding should be routinely washed.

  • If possible keep pets off of furniture and beds in your home.

  • Make sure that wooded areas or areas of heavy vegetation on your property are cut back away from your lawn.

  • Keep the grass on your property mowed short.

  • When spending time outside in areas that may harbor ticks wear long pants, sleeves, and closed toe shoes.  Inspect yourself and your children for ticks before coming inside. 


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