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 ?

  • 2
    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
    Jul 13 '19 at 7:43
  • Where do you live? Location information may help with species identification. Pretty sure it's a tick, though.
    – nick012000
    Jul 13 '19 at 12:29
  • 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
    Jul 17 '19 at 18:20

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. Jul 18 '19 at 17:17
  • So if you're not a male American dog, you're safe! ;-)
    – Drew
    Oct 24 '21 at 3:10

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