This type of tick is found worldwide and occurs predominately around and in settlements with humans and dogs residing. The dog is this tick’s preferred host for all of the life stages but will also bite humans and other mammals. Capable of completing their entire life cycle indoors, in as little as three months, this tick can also survive up to 18 months without feeding. All three stages of the life cycle can be found year round, making this tick an extremely difficult species to control.
Adults are large ticks, growing up to half an inch long when engorged. Unfed adults are a uniform reddish-brown color and lack any distinctive markings. The brown dog tick does not transmit Lyme disease but can transmit Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis, as well as other tick-borne pathogens.
Of the many different tick species found throughout the world, only a select few bite and transmit disease to humans. These maps provide general insight into the expected distribution these human-biting ticks in the contiguous United States. Populations of ticks may be found outside noted areas. Naturally occurring populations of the ticks described below do not occur in Alaska; however, the brown dog tick is endemic in Hawaii.
Note that adult ticks are the easiest to identify and male and female ticks of the same species may look different. Nymphal and larval ticks are very small and may be difficult to identify.