The adult dog tick is shaped like a flat tear drop. Generally, they are 1/8 – 3/16 inch in length and have 8 legs. When fully fed, the body stretches and changes from reddish brown to a more blue-gray.
Although the tick is primarily a parasite of dogs, it will readily feed on humans or cats. They prefer climates that are warm and dry. After feeding, the tick usually drops from their host, to look for a sheltered location to either molt or lay eggs. After the molting is complete, the tick will lay in wait for a host. Ticks can be a vector for Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Ticks feed on the blood of their prey.
Once engorged and she has dropped off her host, the female will seek a quiet location to lay her eggs. The eggs can vary in shades of brown and number in the thousands. The female will die soon after laying her eggs, which will hatch in 19 – 60 days.