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brown dog tick

brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) [female]
Photo © James Gathany

Features and Behaviors

The unfed brown dog tick adult is about 1/8-inch long. Ticks have four pairs of legs (total of eight legs) in their adult form. The larval form of a tick has six legs.

The brown dog tick is a tropical species that cannot survive outdoors in Illinois’ winters. Also known as the kennel tick because it is mainly found in kennels or in homes with a dog, it feeds on dogs and can carry out its life cycle indoors. It hides in cracks, under rugs, in furniture and in other places. It is usually found around a dog’s ears or toes, does not often bite humans and is not an important carrier of diseases. Local health departments and the Illinois Department of Public Health (217-782-2016 or can provide more information about ticks and the diseases that they can carry.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Ixodida
Family: Ixodidae

Illinois Status: common, nonnative