The adult is reddish-brown and about 1/8-inch long, and usually attaches around the ears or between the toes of a dog to feed. After feeding, a female may engorge to ½-inch long. She then drops off the dog and crawls into a hiding place where she may lay as many as 3,000 eggs. This tick is tropical in origin and does not survive Illinois winters outdoors. The brown dog tick is not an important carrier of human disease.
Preventing and controlling ticks around your home…
- Make sure the property around your home is unattractive to ticks. Because ticks are sensitive to dry conditions and do not thrive in short vegetation, they are seldom a problem in well-maintained lawns. Keep your grass mowed and keep weeds cut.
- Clean up items that attract rodents which can carry ticks, such as spilled birdseed, and hiding places like old wood piles.
- Free-roaming dogs and cats are much more likely to encounter ticks than those that are confined to the home or yard. If ticks are found on pets, contact your veterinarian for information about an appropriate tick treatment.
- Remove the occasional tick found indoors by vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag and place it in the trash. Owners of kennels or homes infested with the brown dog tick may wish to contact a professional pest control company for assistance.