BROWN DOG TICK
The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is a species of tick which is found world-wide, but more commonly in warmer climates. This species is unusual among ticks in that its entire life cycle can be completed indoors.
Rhipicephalus sanguineus will feed on a wide variety of mammals, but dogs are the preferred host in the U.S., and the population can reach pest proportions in houses and kennels.
R. sanguineus is one of the most important vectors of diseases in dogs worldwide. In the United States, R. sanguineus is a vector of the diseases in dogs: canine ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) and canine babesiosis (Babesia canis). In dogs, symptoms of canine ehrlichiosis include lameness and fever; those for babesiosis include fever, anorexia and anemia. Rhipicephalus sanguineus has not been shown to transmit the bacteria which causes Lyme disease in humans. In parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, R. sanguineus is a vector of Rickettsia conorii, known locally as Mediterranean spotted fever, boutenneuse fever, or tick typhus.
R. sanguineus can also transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans.
The best management strategy is prevention of infestations in the house or kennel. In addition, the earlier the infestation is discovered, the easier it is to control. Regular grooming and inspection of pets is essential to management, especially when dogs recently quartered or interacted with other dogs.