Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Black Widow or Tick?


Hello.  I live in a northwest suburb of Chicago.  On the back of my thermal drapes was a black bug.  It had a round body, numerous legs evenly spaced and sticking out from the body and, most curiosly, a red spot on its back.  It looked as if someone put a drop of nailpolish on its back.  I normally save unknown bugs and try to ID them using the web.  But this time I freaked out thinking it was a black widow and squished it against the window.  The result on the white drapes was a black crushed bug with red liquid next to it.  I thought this was weird to have a spider bleed so now I wonder if it was a tick.  I can tell you the entire bug (legs and body) was about the size of a pea. My husband is blowing this off but I'm so concerned we have a black widow in our area.  We live in an old house and have killed what we think are brown crunchy little spiders, daddy long leg spiders, jumping spiders, and regular house spiders.  This bug, though, has me fearing for my child's safety.  PLEASE HELP ID IT

Hi Penny
Since I cannot see it I can only make a few assumptions. First of all although your description sounds a little a Widow I do not believe it was because Black widows ant found in Illinois and it is unlikely that one would be found in the house on a curtain.
I am sure it was not a tick. No ticks would have that color pattern and you could not squash one leaving a mark.
There are some jumping spiders with red on them.
In other words I have told what this bug was not but I cannot tell exactly what it was and since it is gone you no longer have to fear for your child's safety

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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