The Brown Dog Tick

Are ticks a real threat in Arizona? You bet they are. The Brown Dog Tick is the most common species of tick found in Phoenix, and it’s surrounding areas. Although its prime target is the family dog, the Brown Dog Tick has been known to feed on other family pets, as well as family members themselves!

“Brown Dog Ticks will attach themselves to hosts (often dogs) from tall grass and weeds as they pass.”

The BDT is drawn to warm climates and can complete it’s entire lifecycle indoors. It’s a dark reddish brown color but changes to greyish-blue when engorged with blood. Adult ticks like to attach themselves to a dog’s ears, as well as between its toes. Immature ticks typically feed along the dog’s back.

BDTs will attach themselves to hosts (often dogs) from tall grass and weeds as they pass. Within weeks, a home can become infested with Brown Dog Ticks. And these little vermin are more than just gross; they spread diseases such as Canine BabesiosisMountain Spotted Fever, and Canine Ehrlichiosis.

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Prevention Tips

Brown Dog Ticks are particularly difficult to control in and around homes. Once they show up, they persist without rigorous proactive steps. Repeated treatments are often needed to eradicate them. Being proactive in your efforts to prevent ticks is your best bet altogether.

Tips for preventing ticks:
  1. Have your family pets regularly checked for ticks by a qualified veterinarian. Or at least have them groomed frequently.
  2. Remove or restrict the amount of vegetation on your property (weeds, grass, shrubs).
  3. Treatment of vegetation where ticks are found outdoors (by qualified experts only).

How to Treat Tick Bites

If you’ve been bitten by one of these blood-thirsty little savages, you need to identify it quickly, remove the tick from your skin, and preserve it for species identification by a professional. Taking these steps aids with tick-borne disease prevention and treatment.

Tick bites are never a good thing, but it’s often easy to know when you’ve been bitten because they are literally attached to your body. The good news is that ticks take roughly 12 hours of feeding to transmit most tick-borne diseases.

If you or someone in your family has been bitten, swift medical attention is advised.


The Brown Dog Tick—and all ticks for that matter—are difficult to eradicate once they’ve infested your home, pets, and/or family members. The best line of defense is prevention. As with all household pests, remaining proactive will not only save you time and money, it will bring you peace of mind; allowing you to enjoy the things in life that matter most.

Urban Desert Pest Control provides services for Anthem, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Buckeye, Carefree, Cave Creek, Chandler, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Mesa, New River, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Tempe, and Tolleson residents.

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