Brown Dog Tick, with suggestions for its control

Material Information

Brown Dog Tick, with suggestions for its control
Bishopp, F. C ( Fred Corry ), 1884-1970
United States -- Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
Place of Publication:
[Washington, D.C
United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine]
Publication Date:
Rev. July 1939.
Physical Description:
[5] p. : ill. ; 26 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Brown dog tick -- Control ( lcsh )
federal government publication ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
"Issued September 1931, revised July 1939."
Statement of Responsibility:
by F.C. Bishopp.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is a work of the U.S. federal government and not subject to copyright pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §105.
Resource Identifier:
030255387 ( ALEPH )
631041937 ( OCLC )

Full Text
kATE PLANT iQ .'O Issuea September 1931
(Revised) Revised July 193c

United States Departrr-; t of A'riculture
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Qi.irantine


By F. C. Bishopp
Investigations of Insects Arfectir.g Man and Animals

The brov.rn dog tick (Rhip2ice1ph",'. -:i,,,ineus (Latr.)) is an imrport-
ant pest of clogs. While it is not known to carry any disease i:. this
country except canine piroplasmosis, it br'-i's so rapidly that it causes
a heavy drain on the vitality of the animals and is a source of great ir.i-
tation to them. This tick is also an important household pest. Niot in-
frequently it becomes scatterpr' by dc,.' throughout dwellings, '.'.:ere it
sometimes nippPars in great numbers around baseboards, wirdnw cr.-ings,
curtains, and furniture. It seldom attaches to any other animal than
the log. The disease of dogs referrc(,. to above apparently is not wide-
spread in the United States,

This tick is normally an inhabitant of the warmer regions. It is
now most t:-oublesome in Texas and Florida, although it is spreadinr through
the Southern States and occurs in many of the Northern States, where it
has been introduced on dogs which have been in the South. Its spread is
bought about mainly by the transportation of c.gos from regions .'here ticks
abound or from local services such as infested kennels and hospitals.

This tick is essentially a -.t-.+c spe-cies. It :does not occur
in the v.oo.'s or open country, as do mar:, tic],s but is iisuzlly fo..'-.'.. con-
cerntrated where dogs are kept,

life hisfory.--The females, v.h-' fully engorged, are about ore-third
of :n irh in length and bluish gr-y. They release their hold on the dog
and seek a hiding place near by. They lave a strong tendency to crawl
upwar-d arfi hence are often found hidd( inL cracks in the roofs of kennels
or in the ceilings of porches. In these hiding places they d.eur-'it from
1,000 to 3,000 eggs, which hatch in from 19 to 60 days into minute, active,
6-legged seer ticks. When opportunity offers, these ticks attach to a dog
-nc fill with blood in from 3 to 6 days. These engorged seed ticks are
bluish arcl about the size of a No. 8 shot. They drop from the dog and hide
in crac..s, and in from 6 to 23 days 4111-y, molt their skins and become 8-
legged reddish-brown nymphs. After a f.?. d-ys of inactivity these ri:,'n1lis
are ready for attachment to dogs. After such attachment, they become en-
gorged in from 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 host, hide away, and molt


their skins in from 12 to 29 days. They are now adult males and females
(figs. 1 and 2), reddish brown and very active when disturbed. In this stage
they attach to various parts of the dog, and the females become engorged
in from 6 to 50 days, then drop off as explained previously. In each of the
-unengorged stages this tick is capable of living for long periods without
food. For instance, some adults have lived in confinement for over 200 days. v

Control.--In combating this tirk it is necessary to give attention
not only to the treatment of the infested animals, but also to pay especial
attention to the sleeping places of the dogs, which are usually heavily
infested with all stages of the ticks.

Clipping long-haired dogs aids in keeping them free from ticks,
but this is really not necessary. There are a number of different insecti-
cides which may be used as washes or dips on the infested animals. Of
these, derris wash is the most satisfactory. It is made by mixing 2 ounces
of fine derris powder, 1 ounce of neutral soap, and 1 gallon of tepid
water. The derris powder should contain at least 3 percent of rotenone
(the main insecticidal constituent of the powderr. This may be applied
as a dip by putting the dog in a tub containing it, or it may be applied
thoroughly with a brush. The dip is allowed to dry on, or, if necessary,
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 povw-der may be applied lightly next to
the skin on all infested parts of the animal.

Do not permit the powder or dip to get into the eyes.

Infested dogs should be kept in one place, especially during their
sleeping hours. This more or less confines the ticks to that place and
makes the treatment easier. The kennels in which the infested animals
sleep should be thoroughly sprayed with creosote oil without dilution.
This material is the same as that used for the prevention of decay of
posts and timbers. It stains and is very caustic; therefore it should
not be used in houses and should not be allowed to come in contact with
animals or plants. It penetrates wood and cracks and can be relied upon
to destroy with a single treatment practically all the ticks in the building.
If corrugated or other metal kennels or cages are being used, it is probably
best not to use the creosote oil, but to spray with creosote dip. The strength
should be triple that usually recommended for disinfecting purposes.

The use of a gasoline torch or pear-burner in concrete or other
fireproof buildings is satisfactory for the destruction of the ticks in
the cracks and floors. Such a torch may be employed, if used with care,
even in a wooden building.

In dog and cat hospitals special attention should be given to having
'.he% cages and buildings constructed so as to reduce hiding places for ticks


to a minimum. Smooth concrete floors and wall are desirable, and cages
made of iron give much less opportunity for the ticks to hide than .i;ooden

When residences become infested it is best to keep the dogs out
of doors except when they are allowed to enter the house to serve as traps
for the free ticks. The baseboards, window casings, and other infested
places should be sprayed frequently with one of the standard fly sprays,
which are essentially kerosene extracts of pyrethrum. The ticks are quite
resistant to sprays of this kind and must be wetted thoroughly if they
are to be killed. In addition to the spray, the use of fresh pyrethrum
or derris powder scattered behind baseboards and other hiding places is
advised. If the dog is kept indoors it should be treated regularly as
outlined above. The treatment of the dog and the premises must be per-
sisted in for several months to eradicate the pest.

Fumigation of infested houses is seldom advisable because the ticks
are usually present in entryways, around porches, and in outbuildings
where they cannot be reached with a fumigant. Furthermore, the tick is very
resistant to fumigants.



Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2013

Figure 1.--The male brown dog tick as seen from above.
times natural size.

About 20

Figure 2.--The female brown dog tick aa seen from above. About 20
times natural size. After attachment to a dog for a few days the
body of the female becomes greatly distended with blood.


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