I found this bug in my back yard and walls outside of my house. Can you help me identify? I was worried if this is a tick. tick or spider ?

  • 3
    This looks very much like a tick, but I am no specialist, i.e. I don't know any "definite" features to discriminate the two - I am sure someone with that knowledge will answer :)
    – imsodin
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 7:43
  • Where do you live? Location information may help with species identification. Pretty sure it's a tick, though.
    – nick012000
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 12:29
  • 1
    Definitely a tick. Ticks are becoming more common and the best thing you can do is keep the vegetation in your yard cut short. You can also treat with pesticides but that may affect more than the ticks (i.e. birds). Another option is to raise chickens, which love to eat bugs.
    – DBADon
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


This is definitely a tick. If it were a spider it would appear that the legs all come from a central point, as spider bodies are separated into segments, whereas tick bodies are not.

There are two main types of ticks - hard ticks and soft ticks. They look quite different. Hard ticks have what's known as a scutum (translates to shield) that covers the front half of the animal, while soft ticks lack the scutum. This one is a hard tick.

More specifically what you have here is, most likely, a male American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). I say this because of the pattern on the scutum and the leg color, other similar species have different color legs.

  • Upshot to OP - Dog ticks aren't known to carry any serious diseases. They're still gross as heck though. Deer ticks are MUCH smaller (dog ticks I'd say are 5-6 mm long, deer ticks 1-2 mm long) and carry the dangerous Lyme disease and are found in similar regions to the dog tick. Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 17:17
  • So if you're not a male American dog, you're safe! ;-)
    – Drew
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 3:10

Looks like female dog tick. But the truth be told ticks are part of the arachnid family so ticks are related to spiders. Kind of like the black sheep of the family I'd say LoL.

  • This adds nothing to the existing answer.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 20:52
  • @Chenmunka - Rob disputes my ID of male. I have very little experience with ticks, so they could well be right, though the photos I have seen still seem to point to male rather than female, based on colour patterns.
    – bob1
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 21:50
  • +1 for "ticks are the black sheep of the arachnid family". Both new info and funny.
    – ab2
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 21:38

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