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Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs: Everything There Is to Know

Ticks do not lay eggs on dogs, but they can stick to your dog’s fur when it passes by. Ticks can reproduce on your dog. After the female has finished feeding, it drops off and finds a place to lay thousands of eggs one time. Tick eggs are red-brown, translucent, and sticky. You can kill tick eggs by adding salt or rubbing alcohol on them. 

There are thousands of species of ticks, but only a few can parasitize your dog. 

Once they become adults, ticks can reproduce in your dog’s fur. The female tick will search for a place to lay its eggs, which can be in your home – furniture, carpet, linings, or cracks – or outside in the grass or under the leaves.

Use antiparasitic substances on your pet regularly and in your garden to prevent ticks.

In this article, you will find out if ticks lay eggs on dogs, what tick eggs look like, how to prevent ticks, and more.

What Is a Tick?

A tick is an external parasite that crawls on dogs and other mammals to feed on their blood. There are many species of ticks, but only a few can transmit deadly diseases to pets. The most common diseases ticks transmit are Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, babesiosis, and others.

Ticks are usually active from March to October, but due to the mild winters, they can parasitize all year round.

Ticks do not fly or jump. When they detect a host passing nearby, ticks lift their forelimbs in the air to cling to the animal’s fur or people’s clothes. Once on the host, they find a place to feed. 

The places where ticks like to hide and feed are:

  • Armpits
  • Around the eyes
  • Ears
  • Under the chin
  • Under the neck
  • Between the toes
  • Between skin folds

When a tick finds a feeding spot, it grabs the skin and cuts the surface to insert its feeding tube. Along with the feeding tube, ticks inject saliva to numb the area. The saliva can be irritating.

Not only is the saliva irritating, but it represents the way ticks transmit infectious pathogens to their host.

The most common species of ticks found on dogs include:

  • Black-Legged Tick (Ixodes spp.)
  • Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
  • Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum)
  • American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

Related: What Does a Tick Look Like on a Dog?

What Is a Tick
Image Source

What Is the Life Cycle of a Tick?

Ticks found in dogs have four biological stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Only the last three feed on blood and can transmit infectious pathogens through their bite. 

There are two kinds of ticks: soft-bodied and hard-bodied.

Ticks with soft bodies have a variable number of life stages that depend on the species and if they find a host to feed on or not.[1] They rarely parasitize pets and prefer to feed on birds and bats.

Hard-bodied ticks are the ones considered dangerous to pets. These kinds of ticks have four evolutionary stages:

  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Nymph
  • Adult

The biological cycle can take up to three years to complete.[2]

After a larva hatches, it starts looking for a host to feed on it. It is small in size (~0.5 mm) and barely visible. When it has finished feeding, it drops off the host and searches for an area to molt into a nymph.

Nymphs are bigger than larvae (~1 mm) and can be noticed on your pet’s skin, especially when they are full of blood (also known as engorged ticks). After feeding ends, they find a place to molt and sexually differentiate, turning themselves into adult females or males.

Adult ticks reproduce in fall[3. Male ticks are smaller than females, and they do not become engorged. Their major purpose is to reproduce with the females and perpetuate the species. Female ticks lay up to 5.000 eggs once in spring, after which they die.

Tick life cycle
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What Do Tick Eggs Look Like?

There are 54.000 species of ticks around the world, and their eggs come in different shapes:

  • Elongated
  • Oval
  • Square
  • Flattened
  • Round

The ticks that we find on our dogs are round, red-brown, and translucent eggs. They are laid in clusters, which makes them look like caviar.

You can destroy the eggs by adding salt or rubbing alcohol. Both methods dehydrate the eggs.

Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs?

Ticks normally do not lay eggs on dogs or other hosts. They lay them in places where they are protected from predators and temperature variations.

Even if ticks do not lay their eggs on hosts, it does not mean you can’t find eggs on your dog. A female tick can lay eggs on a dog accidentally, or the eggs can stick to your dog’s fur when it passes by.

Tick eggs stay in clusters due to their stickiness. When a dog passes by a tick nest, it is likely that the eggs stick to its fur.

Male and female ticks reproduce on the host. The female tick, after it has finished feeding, drops off the host and searches for a humid and dark place to lay eggs. After laying eggs, the female tick dies.[4]

Related: Can Ticks Kill Dogs?

How to Remove Ticks

Where Do Ticks Lay Eggs?

Female ticks look for shady and moist places to lay their eggs:

  • Leafy areas
  • Grass
  • Cracks in the ground
  • Carpet
  • Wooden floor
  • Window and door frame
  • Furniture
  • Linings

How Do I Find a Tick Nest?

Ticks do not build nests to lay eggs. They look for a suitable place and lay thousands of eggs. After this process, the tick leaves its eggs behind.

The egg cluster is about one inch in diameter and looks like miniature caviar. If you’re out in the woods or park with your dog, make sure you avoid them. They can stick to your pet’s fur or your clothes, and you can accidentally carry them home.

Ticks’ eggs can look like eggs of some species of frogs, salamanders, or snails, which can be beneficial for your garden[5]. Make sure you haven’t grabbed the wrong ones by accident.

Tick nest
Image Source

Can Dog Ticks Infest My House?

Although ticks prefer dark and humid places outside, they can also enter your house through cracks in doors or windows. If ticks get into your home and start laying eggs, you can have an infestation.

If your dog already has ticks and you have not applied anti-tick treatments or removed them in time, they can mate and lay eggs in the carpet, furniture, cracks in the floor, or other places.

These eggs then hatch into larvae within two weeks to two months and search for a host to feed on. In case a larva doesn’t find a host, it can live up to 540 days without food.

If your dog has ticks, treat it and prevent it from getting any ticks by applying antiparasitic substances.

If your house has cracks where ticks can enter, repair them to limit their multiplication and spread.

How to Prevent Ticks?

The best way to prevent ticks is to remove them from your dog and use antiparasitic substances. Many products can prevent your dog from getting ticks, from spot-on pipettes and collars to chewable tablets and powders.

Check your dog for ticks each time you come home from a walk. Ticks can reproduce in your dog’s fur and lay thousands of eggs on your carpet, cracks, furniture, or floor, infesting your house.

Many products can prevent ticks, and even a combination of those can be applied. 

A good combo is a spot-on pipette monthly and a collar every 4-6 months. This is the best way to prevent ticks on your dog, especially in hot weather.

Make sure you apply the right concentration for your dog’s weight and age. A higher concentration than needed of antiparasitic substances can lead to intoxication and even death. 

Always talk to your veterinarian when in doubt.

Related: How to Prevent Ticks on Dogs?


Do Ticks Reproduce on Dogs?

Yes, ticks can reproduce on dogs. The male tick feeds for 1-2 days, while the female feeds until engorged. After feeding the male tick looks for a female to reproduce with. After the female has finished feeding, it drops off its host and searches for a place to lay its eggs.

What Does Tick Eggs Look Like on a Dog?

Tick eggs are red-brownish and translucent. They look like miniature caviar. They are sticky and clustered and usually found in humid, dark places near hosts. Tick eggs can also look like frog or snail eggs. You can kill tick eggs with salt or rubbing alcohol.

When Do Ticks Lay Eggs on Dogs?

Ticks lay eggs in the spring. They do so on leaves, grass, or cracks. They prefer dark and humid places, which is why they don’t lay eggs on dogs. The female tick engorges with blood, detaches from your dog, drops off, and looks for a place to lay eggs.

About Iulia Mihai (DVM)

Dr. Iulia is a certified veterinarian with more than 10 years of experience in the field. With extensive knowledge of diet, care, and medication, she helps Misfit Animals provide readers with accurate knowledge on technical topics.

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