3 Ways to Identify Ticks

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3 Ways to Identify Ticks
3 Ways to Identify Ticks

While tick bites are not painful, they can cause infections or even chronic illnesses like Lyme disease. If you're not sure if you're dealing with a tick infestation, check for specific characteristics that distinguish them from other insects. Some insects that look like them are harmless, but ticks need to be dealt with immediately to avoid illness or infection. Call a detoxifier if you're not sure.


Method 1 of 3: Verifying Ticks' Distinctive Characteristics

Check Your Dog for Ticks Step 1

Step 1. Look for a round or oval shape

Before being filled with blood, the tick's body has an oval shape with two main segments. After saturation with blood, the head remains small, but the body grows and becomes rounder and voluminous.

Kill Ticks Without Burning Them Step 2

Step 2. Analyze insects between 1 and 5 cm in length

The size of the tick when you find it depends on whether it has recently fed on blood. Before drinking blood, he's the size of a pinhead. Immediately or several hours later, it grows to the size of a lima bean.

Kill Ticks Without Burning Them Step 12

Step 3. Examine the outside and see if it has a hard protective shell

In most cases, ticks have a hard exoskeleton. These are called hard or “authentic,” and that's what people are talking about when they describe the arachnid. There are soft ticks with a flexible exoskeleton, but they are only found in a few areas.

Soft ticks are found in different regions of the country

Check Your Dog for Ticks Step 3

Step 4. Check for a star-shaped design on the animal's back

The star tick has the figure of a white star on the exoskeleton. If you don't have the design, it could still be a tick. This design is just one defining characteristic of a species.

Get Ticks off Dogs Step 1

Step 5. See if he has black paws

The deer tick has darker legs than the rest of its body. As with the design on the star tick exoskeleton, black paws are a defining feature of the deer tick and may not be present in all types.

Method 2 of 3: Differentiating Between Ticks and Other Insects

Get Rid of Ticks Around Your Home Step 7

Step 1. Avoid confusing wing or antennae insects with ticks

Ticks have neither wings nor antennae. If you find an insect with any of these characteristics, it is certainly not a tick. Look for insects that have characteristics similar to ticks, but that have wings or antennae, if the insect in question has them.

The weevil, which is commonly confused with the tick, have wings and antennae

Kill Fleas and Ticks in Your Home Step 2

Step 2. Count the number of paws to distinguish it from insects

As ticks are a type of arachnid, like spiders and scorpions, they have eight legs. If your bug has six, it's another type, not a tick.

If your bug has fewer than six or more than eight legs, it's not an insect or an arachnid, but it's not a tick anyway

Breed Mealworms Step 6

Step 3. Keep an eye out for insects that feed on blood but do not roam in groups

Sphenophorus brunnipennis is commonly confused with the tick because of its nearly identical appearance. The way to tell them apart is just by looking at them. Sphenophorus brunnipennis travels in a group, while ticks travel alone. Ticks feed on blood, unlike Sphenophorus brunnipennis.

As a general rule, the insect does not roam or stay close to people or animals, unlike ticks

Kill Ticks Without Burning Them Step 5

Step 4. Look for insects that burrow into the skin rather than just on the surface

Both ticks and bed bugs are close to animals and humans. However, the way they feed on people and animals is different. Ticks burrow into the skin to drink the living creature's blood, but bedbugs only stay on the surface of the skin.

It is important to differentiate the tick from the bed bug before removing it from the skin. Without proper precautions, you could end up removing the tick's body while the tick's head is still buried in the skin

Method 3 of 3: Identifying Tick Bites

Get Bug Bites to Stop Itching Step 14

Step 1. Check for mild pain around the bite

Tick ​​bites are usually not painful. If you have a sharp pain, you may not have been bitten by such an animal. Look for other symptoms to determine which insect or arachnid may have bitten you and begin treatment.

If you are bitten by a soft tick, there may be localized pain immediately after the arachnid has fallen

Escape from Killer Bees Step 8

Step 2. Inspect the site for redness

Although tick bites are not painful, they can still cause an immune system reaction. If the bite and surrounding skin are red, it could be a tick bite. However, remember that redness is a symptom of many insect bites or stings.

Get Bug Bites to Stop Itching Step 19

Step 3. See if a rash develops in the days or weeks after the bite

Although it's not a frequent symptom of tick bites, you can get a rash if the spot becomes infected or if you get tick bite disease. If the rash spreads to other parts of the body, call your doctor or go to a hospital emergency room.

Some diseases that ticks carry, such as Lyme disease, can take months or years to show symptoms

Get Rid of Ticks Around Your Home Step 16

Step 4. Look for a tick still attached to your body

As bites usually don't hurt, the most common way to find them is to see the tick buried in the skin. Compare the bug on your body with other insects before removing it to see if you should use tweezers or a credit card to get it out safely. If you're not careful, the tick's head can still be inside your skin.

Kill a Tick Step 6

Step 5. Recognize tick bite symptoms that require immediate medical attention

Although most bites can be treated at home, you will need emergency care if you develop an infection or an allergic reaction. Seek emergency services immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Raised red lumps (hives) all over the body.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Swelling in the mouth, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Vertigo, dizziness or loss of consciousness.


  • To prevent tick infestations, keep shrubs, lawn, and other plants small and trimmed. The arachnid prefers leafy and shaded areas.
  • Remove ticks from your body as soon as possible to prevent infection and disease transmission.


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