Bugs That Look Like Ticks
If you see a bug on you that looks like a tick, it’s essential to move quickly. Ticks carry diseases that are terrible for humans, so identification is the first step to mitigating any future difficulties.
You know what a tick looks like, but did you know that several insects look like ticks? You may not have to worry as much as you think, so let’s go over a few bugs that look like ticks but aren’t.
Bugs That Look Like Ticks – The List
Here are a few different types of insects that look like ticks and how to identify them.
Great! It’s not a tick. However, unfortunately, it may not be much better news. Head lice are still bloodsuckers and can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Unlike ticks, you’re much more likely to share these little critters between family members.
Head lice have six legs and elongated bodies. They may make your scalp a miserable itching mess, but they don’t carry the kinds of diseases that ticks do, so they are the lesser evil even if they’re more irritating.
These can give people heart attacks because they look like flying ticks. They may be disconcerting, but they aren’t attracted or dangerous to humans at all. They can cause damage to trees, but don’t deliver bites to a human.
If you look closer, Poplar Weevils do look a bit different. Where ticks’ bodies tend to be flat, the weevil’s body is humped, providing a fuller shape. The weevil has an elongated snout and six legs. Perhaps the biggest giveaway is that the weevil flies. Ticks do not.
Common Tick Types
In contrast, common tick pests have eight legs and do not fly. Here are a few different tick species that are lesser-known, but do actually pose a threat to humans.
Unlike regular ticks, soft ticks resemble more of a figure eight. They have soft bodies and mouths underneath their bodies. They don’t typically attach to humans, preferring hosts closer to rats. However, if your building has an infestation, there’s a much higher chance one will hop on a human host for convenience.
You can find them wherever rat burrows or birds nests typically are. They’re more common in the western United States and have no trouble moving around to be such small little creatures.
American Dog Ticks
These ticks can sometimes cause a severe reaction at bite sites and are disease vectors for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They’re a quarter of an inch in length and brown. They will have no trouble jumping to a human host, but of the thousands of eggs the female lays, only a small handful actually make it to maturity.
It’s rare to find them indoors, and if you do, it’s probably your dog or cat’s fault. Check your pets regularly to find signs of these ticks so that you don’t harbor them accidentally. It’s common to find them in the western United States.
Brown Dog Ticks
Brown Dog Ticks are another disease-carrying tick that’s brown and nearly a quarter inch in length. They’re large and easy to spot, but they aren’t often found indoors. They prefer wooded areas and outdoors, so sometimes it’s pets that bring them in.
They carry significant diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other tick-borne illnesses. If you’ve been outside, you’ll need to check your clothing and body to make sure you aren’t carrying in other stowaways.
When you spend time outside, you’re introduced to tick habitats. They hitch rides on birds, small animals, and any blood carrying host. Because of this, ticks can travel for miles while on a host to deposit and lay eggs to restart a population.
Using protection such as bug spray designed to repel ticks and wearing long sleeves and pants can help. Tuck your pants into your socks to help prevent ticks from finding a way inside. Ticks aren’t very strong and won’t be able to bite through your clothing with such small mouthparts.
When you get home, wash your clothing in warm or hot water to help kill any ticks that may be hitching a ride. Check yourself and pets frequently for signs of ticks to ensure that they don’t end up in your house. If you notice strange rashes or bites, consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
Not every brown insect is actually a tick, but sometimes you may wonder what it is. Ticks are part of the arachnid family, and the biggest clue is the presence of eight legs with their distinctive flat, circular body. There may even be some spiders that look like ticks.
If you know what type of tick-like bug you have, you’re more likely to have the information you need just in case you experience a reaction and to avoid bites in the first place. Identification is power.
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