What do Ticks Look Like

What do Ticks Look Like

Ticks are tiny bugs with a flat oval-shaped body before feeding and a plump, rounded, and navy blue body after feeding.

Ever seen a blackish skin lump on your dog’s neck only for it to disappear days later? Yeah, that was probably a tick. Ticks are small, dangerous parasites that depend on animal blood to survive. They mostly hide in grassy or woody areas and attach themselves to animals or people who pass there.

Like mosquitoes, ticks can spread infectious diseases like Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to humans. Knowing this, it’s vital that you learn to identify a tick when you see one because it could be the difference between health and really horrible disease.

So, how exactly does a tick look like?

1.    Ticks are arachnids. First things first, ticks are eight-legged like spiders. In fact, they look a lot like tiny spiders, except their back is hard and shiny. Depending on the species, ticks can be reddish, dark brown, or black in color. When they are full of blood, most ticks turn navy blue or greenish-blue.

2.    Ticks don’t leave.
 Do you know how mosquitoes and bedbugs leave after biting you? Well, ticks don’t leave. They can stay attached to you for days until they are too full to hold on anymore. You will know it’s a tick because it will still be on your skin hours and days after.

3.    Ticks go through stages. 
Last but not least, you can tell it’s a tick if you know the stages they go through to mature. Ticks begin as eggs which develop into larvae, nymphs, and then adults. Nymphs are extremely tiny, while unfed adults are the size of an apple seed. Whichever the stage, ticks have a flat and oval appearance, and they don’t have wings.

4.    They appear headless. One of the reasons ticks look like skin tags or moles on your skin is that their head is knee-deep inside your skin. If you see a black/brown object on your skin that appears headless, it’s probably a tick busy sucking your blood.

Where to Find Ticks on Your Body

Have you recently held a pet that has dash or passed through a grassy field? You can start by checking your legs, including the trousers you were wearing and the shoes. Ticks crawl upwards on their host, starting from legs and wandering up until they find a nice warm place to hide. If you don’t see any black or dark spots on your legs, socks, and pants, it’s time to check the rest of your body.

When they crawl up, dash normally settle on your armpits, groin, and head. On pets and cattle, dash hide behind the ears, on the back, and on the belly. The sooner you can find them, the lower your chances of contracting a tick-borne disease.

You can safely take out the tick using a tweezer to ensure you get the head too. Once it’s out, submerge it in rubbing alcohol or throw it in a fire. It’s also important to see a doctor immediately and let them know a tick has bitten you. The doctor will do some tests to establish whether you have been infected with any disease or not.

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