Date of this Version
The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae), feeds primarily on dogs and until recently was not known to vector Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). In 2003–2004, fourteen cases of RMSF in humans occurred in eastern Arizona in the absence of known vectors, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, and American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis. However, health officials found brown dog ticks to be very abundant in areas associated with human cases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implicated that the brown dog tick was responsible for transmitting RMSF. Brown dog ticks occur throughout the United States and the world. These ticks are most common in warm temperate climates. The common brown dog tick cannot survive outdoors in northern temperate latitudes, but it is found wherever dogs are housed in heated buildings.