Brown Dog Tick

Brown dog tick  Rhipicephalus sanguineus


Although not as life threatening as the paralysis tick the brown dog tick can cause an irritating skin condition when in large numbers.  The blood loss in dogs can cause anaemia and they can become listless.  Tick numbers will increase rapidly if dogs are left without treatment; very high tick infestations may kill dogs.


Ticks are excellent survivors.  They lay large

Frontline Pest Management - Brown Dog Tick
numbers of eggs and can survive several months without feeding.  There are four stages of the life cycle of the tick:  egg, larva, nymph and adult.

The adult female tick leaves the dog after it is fully engorged and seeks out a dark sheltered location to lays its’ eggs – all 4000 of them.  This may be in leaf litter, soil or under your lounge chair.  The eggs hatch into reddish brown larvae, which are very small and difficult to see.  They may be found crawling up walls.  They attach to the dog and feed until engorged.  Then they drop off the dog and moult to become nymphs.  Nymphs are larger than larvae and can be distinguished by having eight legs instead of six.  Nymphs also feed on blood until they are engorged and then drop off the host.  They then develop into female or male adults.  The female attaches and starts to feed.


The engorged female represents the largest and most obvious stage in the cycle.  Engorged females are about 12mm in length and are brown to blue/grey in colour, with dark brown legs.  Male ticks are much smaller, shiny dark brown in colour and actively move about.  They do not engorge like the females, but may be found close to females.  All adult ticks have eight legs.



Constant reinfestation will occur if the dog’s environment is contaminated with tick larvae and nymphs.  Treat the dogs resting area, bedding, and crevices in the kennel and any other items in the vicinity will harbour ticks.  So treat or remove them all.

Ticks will shelter in cracks and crevices associated with brickwork, skirting boards and mouldings.



1.    Contact Frontline Pest Management to spray your house and yard.

2.    Treat dog with Frontline Plus or similar.

3.    Restrict the dogs movements to treated areas so no ticks are picked up from elsewhere.

4.    Treat all dogs at the same time.

5.    Do not allow dogs with ticks into your yard.

6.    Persist with treatment for at least four months.


Prevention if the best strategy for controlling ticks.  Regular grooming and inspection of dogs is essential for management.  Treat dogs when tick numbers are low and keep infestations low.  If tick numbers are allowed to increase, control becomes a costly and prolonged exercise.

If you require assistance with a tick pest control problem, call Frontline Pest Management on 3293 4475 today.

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