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Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

Tick Identification Guide

Learn What Ticks Look Like

By DoMyOwn staff

Ticks are small insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. There are hundreds of species of ticks in the world; several species found in the United States are vectors for disease to people and pets.

Ticks can often be confused with other small pests like fleas, especially baby ticks. Use this guide to learn what ticks look like and common traits among the many species of ticks.

If you do have ticks, continue to read our guide on how to get rid of ticks, how to find ticks in your home or yard, and how to stop ticks from entering your home. .

Size
tick size comparison showing sizes at different life stages in the life cycle
There are 4 life stages of a tick: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Tick larvae are less than 1 millimeter long (the size of a poppy seed) while nymphs are 1-2 millimeters long, about the size of a pinhead. Adult ticks can range from about 2 - 6 millimeters long when unfed and can grow up to 10 millimeters long after feeding. Adult male ticks are often smaller than adult females.
Shape
a tick before feeding and a full tick after feeding

Ticks have a flattened oval or tear dropped shaped body before feeding and a plump, rounded body after feeding.

Immature ticks in the larvae stage have 6 legs. After feeding and maturing, they grow two additional legs for 8 legs total.

Ticks do not have wings or antennae.

Color
the most problematic different types of ticks found in the United States

Ticks range in color and marking depending on their species. See the chart below for examples of tick coloring.

Range

Ticks can be found throughout the United States. While not every species of tick is in every state, there is at least 1 species of tick in each state.

Have you found a tick? Learn how to inspect for more with our guide to finding ticks in your home or yard and how to treat your home and yard for ticks with our how to get rid of ticks guide.

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