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Brown dog ticks

In Australia, there are 2 types of ticks that are particularly problematic for pets: brown dog ticks and paralysis ticks. Ticks on dogs and cats, especially paralysis ticks, can be life-threatening, so if you live in or visit a tick area, take care to minimise the risk of tick infestation. This includes the use of a trustworthy tick control product like FRONTLINE PLUS or FRONTLINE SPRAY.

What are brown dog ticks?

Adult brown dog ticks are flat and red-brown with tiny pits on their backs. As female ticks feed, they become engorged and swell to a grey-blue or olive colour.


Where are brown dog ticks found?

Brown dog ticks are found primarily in northern parts of Australia, but also inland areas of Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The most common host is the dog.


What problems are caused by brown dog ticks?

Low numbers of brown dog ticks generally cause few health problems. High numbers of brown dog ticks may cause:

  • Skin irritation
  • Dermatitis
  • Anaemia
  • Death

The brown dog tick life cycle

Several generations of ticks may be born each year. This tick species has 4 stages: the egg, larva, nymph and adult. Each active stage seeks a new host and then drops off to develop in a protected area of the environment (e.g. cracks in flooring, kennel walls, verandas and gardens). A female brown dog tick may deposit up to 4000 eggs into the environment, which usually hatch within 3 weeks.