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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identifying tick pulled of my daughter


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QUESTION: Can you please help me to identify this tick that I pulled off of the back of my daughters neck. It was located roughly 1.5" - 2" into the hairline in lower middle section by the spin. I used tweezers to pull it off and I believe the head & mouth is still attached to the tick. Attached is a picture of the top of the tick. It appears to be the size roughly of a popcorn kernel. I have a few more pictures of the tick if that would help identify it. Once identified is there any health concerns like lime disease that I need to get my daughter treated for.

Thank you for your help and quick response!!!


PS - The picture with the tweezers was shot through a magnifying glass with light. So the color is probably not actual color. If you need me to retake the picture. I still have the tick in a baggie. I can take another pic.

ANSWER: MeriBeth,

Looks like the brown dog tick. They do not transmit Lyme disease but ticks can carry a variety of diseases so you'll want to watch for any obvious changes in health. This one has fed (is engorged with blood) but the mouthparts are attached which makes me think that it may have fed on some host animal before getting on your daughter. How difficult was it to pull off? Do you have any dogs in the house? This looks like a tick that had fed then detached and then somehow ended up on your daughter. Post a follow up if you have questions.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: We do not have dogs but have 3 indoor only, cats where we live. My baby sitter has 2 dogs but she wasn't been at their house for over a week. I've never removed a tick before but it was difficult to pull off. Her skin looked like it was pulled out at least an 1.5" before the tick tore off.

Thank you again for a very fast response.

Ok, it sounds like it was attached. Be sure to watch for any sign of an infection or a bullseye-shaped red area. Here's a picture of a typical tick bite rash that might be useful.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.


Ph.D. in Entomology

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