STATE PLANT BOARD
Z-292 Issued September 1931
First revision 1939
Second revision 1946
United states Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Administration
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
THE BROWN DOG TICK, WITH SUGGESTIONS FOR ITS CONTROL
By F. C. Bishopp, assistant chief of Bureau, and Carroll N. Smith
and Harry K. Gouok, Division of Insects Affecting Man and Animals
The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latr.)) is an important
pest of dogs. While i iis not known to carry any disease in this country
except canine piroplasmosis, it brooeeds so rapidly that it causes a heavy
drain on the vitality of the animals and is a source of great irritation
to them. This tick is also an important household pest. Frequently it
is scattered by dogs throughput dwellings, where it sometimes appears in
great numbers around baseboards. window and door casings, curtains, and
furniture. It seldom attaches to any other animal than the dog. The
disease of dogs mentioned above apparently is not widespread in the
This tiok is normally an inhabitant of the warmer regions. It is
most troublesome in the Southern States, especially Florida and Texas,
but is also well established in most of the northern cities. Its spread
is brought about mainly by the transportation of dogs from regions where
ticks abound or from local services, such as infested kennels and hospitals.
This tick is essentially a domestic species. It does not ooour in
the woods or open country, as do many tioks, but is usually found con-
centrated where doge are kept.
The adult females, after becoming fully engorged, are abov- one-
third inoh In length and bluish gray. They then release their hold on
the dog and seek a hiding place nearby. They have a tendency to crawl
upward and hence are often found hidden in cracks in the roofs of kennels
or in the ceilings of porches. In houses a favorite hiding plaoe is under
the edge of a rug. In their hiding places they deposit from 1,000 to
5,000 eggs, which hatch after 19 to 60 days into minute, active, 6-legged
seed ticks. When opportunity offers, these ticks attach to a dog and fill
with blood in 3 to 6 days. The engorged seed ticks are bluish and about
the sioe of a No. 8 shot. They drop from the dog and hide in cracks, and
in 6 to 23 days molt their skins and become 8-legged, reddish-brown nymphs.
After suoh attachment, they beoome engorged In 4 to 9 days. At this time
they are oval, about the size of a No. 5 shot, and dark gray* Again they
leave the hosts hide away, and molt their skins in 12 to 29 days. They
are now adult sales and females (figs. 1 and 2), reddish brown, and very
active when disturbed. In this stage they attach to various parts of the
dogs the females boom engorged in 6 to 50 days and then drop off as
In each of the uaengorged stages this tiok is capable of living for
long periods without food, For instance seato adults have lived in on-
finmiemnt for over 200 days.
In combating this tick it is necessary to give attention not only to
the treatment of the infested animals, but also to their sleeping places,
which are usually heavily infested with all stages of the tioks.
Use of Derris.a-Clipping long-haired dogs aids in keeping them free
from tok, bu this is not necosary. There are a number of inseotioides
that nay be used as washes or dips. Of these, derris wash is the most
satisfactory. It is made by nixing 2 ounces of fine derris powder, 1
ounce of neutral soap, and 1 gallon of tepid water. The dorris powder
should contain at least S percent of rotenone (the mai insectioidal
constituent of the powder). This may be applied by putting the dog in a
tub containing it, or it may be applied thoroughly with a brush, sponge,
or dipper. The dip should be allowed to dry ona if noooessary, the surplus
liquid may be removed with a towel. The dip can be kept for at least a
week. To prevent any tick from engorging and escaping from the dog, the
wash should be applied at 3-day Intervals. If the use of the wash is
objectionable, the derris powder may be applied lightly next to the skin
in all infested parts of the animal.
Do not permit the powder or dip to got into the dog's eyes*
Use of DDT.--DDT in some forms is satisfactory for the control of
tiks on dogsi7 A dust containing 10 percent of DDT in pyrophyllite and
a wash containing 1 percent of DDT as a wettable powder nay be used, but
DDT in kerosene and other oil solutions should not be applied to dogs, and
the animals should not be permitted to liok themselves excessively inmedi-
ately after any treatment with DDT. The dust or wash should be applied in
the manner described for derris* Fully engorged females are sometimes
difficult to kill with DDT, but treatment at 3-day intervals will keep
dogs relatively free of tieks and prevent fiees froem becoming fully
House infestations can be eradicated by the careful and thorough
application of DDT to the premises in addition to the treatment applied
to the dog. the form of DDT most convenient for use in houses is a
5-peroent solution in highly refined kerosene, Solutions of this type
are now widely marketed for use as residual fly sprays. The kerosene
used Is harmless to fLaishes on woodwork, furniture, or walls, but sine,
some wallpapers are printed with oil-soluble inksp, it is well to try a
few drop oa each surfaeoo to be sprayed to test for possible injury.
When the drops of oil evaporate, they may leave a faint white film, whioh
is the residue of DDT end possesses inseooticidal action. The exoess film
should wipe off easily& leaving no visible deposit or permanent stain.
The spray may be applied with any type of hand or meohanioal sprayor.
It should be applied to valls, woodwork, floors, floor ooverings* the
under side of furniture, ou-tains, draperies, behind pictures, and in
say other plaoe where ticks are likely to be hidiut in roams to whioh
the dog is admitted. Bedrooms are often heavily infested, and in such
oases the bed should be thoroughly sprayed. The application should be
sufficiently heavy to leave noticeable moisture a the treated surfaoo*
This treatment will kill tioks that are active at the tine it is
applied. !iLke that are hiding in well-proteoted places will not be
killed at oae.* However, when they emergeo from hiding to seek a blood
meal they will be killed by the residual DDT if they are forced to walk
over & sprayed surface. It may be several weeks before all such ticks
have emerged and died. For this reason prompt eradication Is rarely
observed. The usual experience Is to observe some reduction in active
tioks during the firot week after treatment, a great reduction during
the seoond and third weeks, and few or no ticks after about a month. Itf
theo first treatment is thorough a second should not be needed, but if
tioks are found in numbers after the third week a seooond treatment
should be applied.
A dust confining 10 percent of DDT in pyrophyllito may be used
instead of the spray whenever more convenient. The duet may be blomn into
eraoks and orevices more easily than the spray, but in exposed places it
Is unsightly, and unless it is left in plaoe tho residual value is lost.
It may be applied with a bellows or small hand duster.
DO NOT lot the spray or dust get into foods or food containers.
DO NOT let the spray or dust get into fish bowls or aquaria.
DO NOT leave DDT containers where they may endanger children or pets.
DO NOT use kerosene spray around open flames.
DO NOT inhal exzoessive mounts o DDT.
DO HOT wipe the film of residual DDT off surfaces where it is not
Infested dogs should be kept in ease plaoe, especially during their
sleeping hours. This more or less confines the ticks to that plaoe end
makes the treatment easier. Itf the infested animals sloop in kennels,
*h#di, or on qr ^ .., U fho'l-. '*. *F*-ugh1f sprayed with a peroet
of DDT in keroien.i, w..X Ii1a,: -l.... *.tsr sumpwmiaon or dusted with
10 peorent of D1 pArophp11t^., tMad yrds M ramwaym should
be dusted with 1i P;5ont of iDT yp-ophyllite or Sprayd vith 0.5
percent of DDT L-, :i water vuij~pom':i' o1r emulsion. T&hse material. are
not injurious to p'. ts, All voegataton, the ground, Uad sides of
adJaoent bulldini, ahculd be wet with the spray. The utw sumposiim
and, to soar *xte t, t6e emulsion leavo a whitish deposit mhieoh i4htb
be objeotionabila i:. & mn urf'oem, It will be noted that the spray
reooomanled for ii. ,;;' c i. ma; o ,-iatenth as strong as the spray
reommi&edd for '* Thim tiv-.ia' solution is aneessary boeauso
a larger volmam to give fioient eoveree of DDT*.
Other T2ofrtte Crsoaot9 oil, without dilutiop hba bosm
applied with gC?: -.: o keirels&, Ledau, and fenoos in the South
where the tiok .ut. ". of doors, This material is the sme
an that used fo' .:. .. ,ay of potsu and timbers. It stains
and in rery .%...-..: it holdd not be used on porches or
in houses, emd n:.. o x.t 10. allowed to aco in oontaut vitfh saals
or plants. It .-.. -. Wo.. &d aiad .-&QLa and can bo roliod upon to
destroy with a a.. t.t px.- .t-t.y all tiok In a building,
but it has no rt.'" A -i'tion. It should nit be used an metal.
Th% a* tia<,. in oo., 1a~t* or other fireproof build-
2latiis lk a,,tilit.o. .3 *+ Id*..Ii joi up lake.
ik o .. .:.. .d.6 t ..._ i 0 buildings should be so
OQaeloed -.,-. .. .. .;r -bik. to a ula. oot O
Gonorete fl....... ..... g.,es mad* of iron give
muoh lutes optc,1o *.tU M'.& thaa do wooden uOes.
Furmigatimmov ':, u 4id ht.isi Odv!r'-. advisable, because the
ticks a*e Usuvi ^ 5B ctyy',y-t, (Sirc&d porohes, and in out-
buildings wh.brr :-'-,; )3b9 revaahtd --ith a fumigants Purthersores
the tick is J 1 .. L' ,,
Figure 1.--The male brown dog tick as seen from above. About 20
times natural size.
Figure 2.-The female brown dog tick as seen from above. About 20
times natural sise. After attachment to a dog for a few day. the
body of the female became greatly distended with blood.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 09226 9397