Ticks

Ixodidae / Ixodes scapularis

  • SIZE

    Less than 1/16in to 1/4in long

  • COLOR

  • BITE OR STING

    No

  • WINGS

    No

Top-view illustration of a tick.
Side-view illustration of a tick.
Close-up image of a tick on human skin.
A tick atop the tip of a human finger, showing how tiny a tick is in comparison.

General Information

There are around 900 different species of ticks in the world.1 These blood-sucking pests are known to spread infections, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick-borne relapsing fever.2 Learn what ticks look like, where they live, and how to help keep ticks away from your family and pets.

  • Ticks will climb up long grass blades or low brush and attach themselves to animals or people as they pass by.

  • Ticks are often seen crawling on or under clothing, on bare skin, or in hair.

  • Ticks tend to move upwards on people, looking for a hidden place to start feeding.

Details

  • Many tick species love cool woods and grassy areas where they perch and have their best chance of finding dinner as it passes by.

  • Some ticks, like the dog tick, are found anywhere pets rest and play, including lawns, kennels, and along the edges of woods and fields.

  • Ticks survive on blood, which means they attach to and then bite animals and people that pass by for a meal.

  • Ticks prefer wild animals such as rodents and deer. However, they will bite humans opportunistically.

  • Ticks are known to transmit many different types of pathogens, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

  • Wear a personal insect repellent when in areas with high tick populations.

  • Tuck pant legs into socks and wear closed-toed shoes to reduce the risk of ticks getting on your skin.

  • Wear light-colored socks and pants that will easily reveal ticks when they crawl on you.

  • Examine yourself and your children daily for ticks when spending time in infested areas.

  • Check clothing, gear, and pets often during tick season.

  • Keep grass, weeds, and brush trimmed low to eliminate ideal tick hiding spots and help make your yard less attractive to these blood suckers.

  • If you are bitten by a tick and cannot remove it yourself, contact your physician for removal and treatment.

  • Do not use alcohol, nail polish, hot matches, petroleum jelly, or other materials to remove ticks from people or pets. Instead, grasp the tick firmly with a tweezers as close to where it is attached as possible and then gently pull until the tick releases. Find more tips for how to remove ticks.

Illustrations of wasp, mosquito and spider

Find My Bug

Answer a few questions and we'll help identify the bug you're fighting.

Illustrations of ant, cockroach and fly