4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Brown Dog Tick

Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Brown Dog Tick

Physical Features

Brown Dog Ticks are arachnids so they have eight legs and two body parts. Their elongated bodies are red-brown in color and 1/8 inch long. Engorged females grow to 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide and turn gray-blue to olive colored. Larval ticks only have six legs. Ticks have a hexagonally shaped connection (capituli) at the head and body joint. They also have two mouthparts: backward shaped teeth to open skin and make holes, and piercing-sucking mouthparts to draw blood.


  • Diet: Blood
  • Activity: When ready to feed or lay eggs.
  • Preferred Climate: Warmer climate.
  • Defense: Small unnoticeable size
  • Cautions: Will attach to other available animals including humans, they are most attracted to dogs. Pet may act irritable. Carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and tick paralysis.
  • Home Invasion: Pets will carry in ticks from outdoors. The ticks will hide in cracks and crevices until they feed.

Helpful Hints

  • Keep dogs off natural paths and other landscape transition zones where ticks may be found.
  • Treating the pet completed by the pet owner or a veterinarian.
  • Cleaning areas that pet frequents.
  • Recommend regular pest control service plan.

Interesting Facts

Remove a tick from the point of entry (where the mouthparts attach to the skin) by firmly and steadily pulling directly outward without twisting. Put removed tick in alcohol to kill it. Clean the bite with disinfectant.


It is not the tick bite but the toxins in the tick’s saliva transmitted through the bite that causes disease.

Nesting Sites

Brown dog ticks will nest deep in the hair of animals. Ticks will enter indoors through the fur or hair of infested pets.