Entomology (Study of Bugs)/weird insect

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Question
bug
bug  
i found this insect in my bed. it looks just like a watermelon seed but with mouth and small appendages at one end. what is it? I am not the only one who sleeps in my bed- i have 2 dogs....

thanks!

jay in northern california

Answer
Dear Jay - This is an engorged female hard tick (family Ixodidae); possibly a brown dog tick,  Rhipicephalus sanguineus - see http://tinyurl.com/amkar7j for an image. This appears to be the only hard tick species that can establish a breeding population indoors - see http://tinyurl.com/7bm82h3 for a fact sheet with more detailed information including control recommendations.

Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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