Adults are about 1/8 inch long.
The rhipecephalus tick is flattened top to bottom, and much wider at the posterior end than the front. There are tiny pits scattered over the top of the body, and the color is somewhat uniform reddish brown.
The rhipecephalus tick is more commonly known as the brown dog or kennel tick and is commonly found on dogs. It can create a serious nuisance in the home when pets become infested. These ticks gorge on a single blood meal at each stage of their lives and remain attached for several days to over a week. When ticks become fully engorged, they drop off the host and seek a protected area in which to hide. Ticks in all of the life stages may be found behind baseboards, under window and door moldings, in window pulley openings or in furniture.
Rhipecephalus ticks are strictly blood feeders and typically use domesticated pets as their host. Females become enormously bloated when feeding; sometimes swelling to ½ inch long. Then they drop off the animal to lay eggs.
After fertilization by the male, and a large blood meal, the female produces a single batch of up to several thousand eggs, and then she dies. These eggs are usually placed in a secluded crevice of some sort and are often deposited between boards, under plaster or carpeting, or in other cracks and crevices. The eggs usually hatch in about three weeks and the larvae wait months to find a host.
This tick is thought to be a vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Adults can live up to 1 1/2 years, without feeding, but must feed before mating.
Before treating the home, you must vacuum all rooms, wash all bedding and either wash or discard all animal bedding. After treatment has dried, vacuum again and discard bag.