Tick Identification Guide

Learn What Ticks Look Like

  Print Article By DoMyOwn staff


the most problematic different types of ticks found in the United States
There are seven medically significant tick species in the United States. The American dog tick, Blacklegged tick, Brown dog tick, Gulf Coast tick, Lone star tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick and the Western blacklegged tick. While each tick species has different markings and slightly different colorings, each species shares many of the same traits, and the control process is the same for all of them.

tick size comparison showing sizes at different life stages in the life cycle
Ticks can range in size from about 1mm - 10mm long depending on species, gender, and when they fed last.

a tick before feeding and a full tick after feeding
  • Ticks are tear dropped shaped
  • Immature ticks have six legs, mature ticks have eight legs
  • Ticks are relatively flat before feeding
  • Some ticks become quite plump and round after feeding

What color are ticks? Ticks range in color from brownish black to whitish grey depending on the species, gender, maturity, and feeding habits of the tick.

Though not all tick species can be found in all states, most US states do have at least one medically significant tick species.

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