Brown Dog Tick Elimination

Though it's never desirable to have ticks on your dog, brown dog ticks can be the lesser of several evils because they can be seen with the eye and aren't the main carrier for Lyme disease. However, it's still important to remove them as soon as possible.

About Brown Ticks

Brown dog ticks rarely bite humans. They are largely a dog-specific parasite. They are one of the most common dog ticks because they often live in yards and parks, not just in the woods. They can hide in crevices around your home or yard, waiting for a dog to prey upon.

Though they don't often carry Lyme disease, they do carry Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, which can be fatal if left untreated. They usually spend three to 11 days attached to the host if not removed and can lie eggs on your dog as well.

Tick Removal

Each time your dog comes inside from the yard or a play date, make sure to check him thoroughly for ticks. It's much easier to remove them before they have latched into your dog's skin, so look through his fur, especially around the:

  • ears
  • collar
  • tail
  • stomach
  • toes 
  • armpits

Ticks hide out in these areas.

Don't remove a tick with your fingers as they can release infectious juices. Instead, use tweezers. Put the tick in alcohol to kill him as ticks can survive being flushed or thrown in the trash can and wash your hands thoroughly with disinfectant.

If the tick has already latched into your dog's skin, grab the tick as close to the skin as possibly and pull directly out, slowly. Don't twist or jerk too quickly as this may leave the head in your dog's skin. Don't use Vasoline or kerosene, which can also cause the tick to release juices.

After removing the tick, apply antiseptic to the wound to prevent infection after the fact. Clean the wound and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Tick Prevention

Unlike most ticks, brown dog ticks can live their entire life cycle indoors. This means a tick infestation can grow like a flea infestation. Ticks can be hidden in:

  • baseboards
  • crevices
  • furniture
  • dog bedding
  • window and door moldings

All of these areas must be treated to ensure removal.

Thoroughly clean all dog kennels and bedding. Wash bedding in hot water. Vacuum carpets and treat all crevices with pesticide designed to remove ticks.

Pesticide is also available for your dog. You can spray dog-safe insecticide on your dog before allowing him outside or obtain preventative medication from your veterinarian or local pet store. Many flea preventatives, such as Revolution, also protect against ticks.

If you're looking for a more natural approach, citronella, rose geranium and palmerosa are natural tick repellents. You can place these oils on your dog's collar, add them to a bath rinse or put the oils on bedding or furniture to repel ticks.