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Normally reddish-brown, which gives them their name. They are in fact not any redder when full of blood, but gray-blue or olive colored.
Walnuts, or tiny beans? Body is flat and slightly wider in the rear; seeing them clinging to your dog's fur might make you wonder if he got into your nut or bean stash. Males have tiny pits on their backs, similar to walnuts. Mouths are visible from above, and larvae have 6 legs.
Throughout the U.S., but most common in warmer states as well as warm climates throughout the world.
If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas — and some ticks, too. As it's a "dog" tick, dogs are their main target, but they are also common anyplace in the home that is warm and dry where dogs live in.
Dog blood. Ugggh.
A life of gorging and molting. This is basically how larvae develop. As most everything happens with a meal of blood, females feed and then drop off the host dog to lay eggs, after which her life is deemed complete, and she dies. Usually she crawls upward to wall or ceiling crevices or cracks, laying her 1,000-3,000 tiny dark brown eggs, which look a lot like caviar. Eggs hatch after 9-60 days into tiny larvae with 6 legs, called "seed ticks". Then they crawl down the wall and attach themselves to a dog so they can feed, although they can last 8 months without. They engorge 3-6 days and enlarge to 1/6 inches (2mm) and become blue. After the meal, they head off to find a spot to molt, and basically repeat this process. By 1-3 weeks they are reddish-brown nymphs with 8 legs. Then they feed for 4-9 days, grow to 1/8 inch (3mm) and turn dark gray. Once again they go off to molt, becoming adults in 12-19 days. They immediately seek a host dog, but can survive up to 18 months if unable. Once they find a good candidate, they feast for 6 to a record 50 days and mate – must be a taxing business. They may complete the cycle in 2 months, but there are usually 2 generations per year in the north, and 4 generations in the south.
When the household dog isn't happy, neither is the household. Although they seldom attack humans, as we generally have less fur to cling to, they are carriers and transmitters of several disease organisms.
All brown dog ticks need is to move upward, and they can find a host dog.
Concentrate your efforts on areas your dog spends most of its time. Treatment should focus on dog's resting places, upholstered furnishings, cracks and crevices, under porches, and any possible crawl spaces the dog has access to. Thoroughly clean home and kennel areas before starting treatment, both indoors and outdoors. Also treat your dog on the same day as this pesticide application. As treatment is extensive and specific application equipment is necessary, you may want to use a professional exterminator. Inside treatment should focus on areas up to 4 feet and be concentrated around where your pet spends time. Exterior treatment should include walks, shrubbery and lawns.
Continue to monitor your pet after treatment, especially if it goes into other areas that may possibly be infested. For your own protection, use repellent, wear light-colored clothing, and frequently inspect tick-infested habitats.
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