Can anyone tell me what type of bug this is? I found two of them in my bed in Tennessee, United States.

It's not a tick. The shell is hard. It was alive and you could see it moving. It's .016", very small, about the size of a pencil tip. I had to see it through a magnifier to see it moving.

You don't feel the bite but it leaves a red spot and is very itchy and when you scratch it it turns to a sore like a busted pimple. It itches for days.

I can't see the pointer or legs that were under the body; was very hard to see as it was so tiny.

Tiny bug:

  • 1
    Location in the world would help, as would a clearer photo and a size estimation, if you can get them. Having said that, it could be a tick - especially if you have pets that go out-doors
    – bob1
    Jul 28, 2019 at 2:15
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    Welcome! As ND Martin said, call your doctor right away in case it's a tick. Check your body for others. The doctor might want to see it! Did you just find them today? Are they alive? Are they the same size/shape? Engorged ticks vary; they drink different amounts of blood. Is the back squishy or hard? Can you see the shape of the pointer and the number of legs? Those are often the difference between a tick and a beetle. Did you feel it bite? What does the bite look like? Where are you in the US? Edit anything else you can think of into the question. Thanks! Jul 28, 2019 at 20:15
  • Tennessee Not a tick. Hard shell was alive you could see it moving. .016" very small. Had to see it through a magnifier to see it moving. You don't feel the bite but it leaves a red spot and is very itchy and when you scratch it it turns to a sore like a busted pimple. Itches for days. Can't see the pointer or legs there under the body. Was very hard to see as it was so tiny. Jul 29, 2019 at 1:18
  • Very itchy? Could be a chigger, but they are usually red I think.
    – bob1
    Jul 29, 2019 at 4:09
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    looks like a piece of fluff
    – llama
    Jul 29, 2019 at 12:00

4 Answers 4


Looks like a fully engorged deer (black-legged) tick. Can't tell from your picture whether it's larva or nymph. Here's a size comparison photo:

enter image description here https://news.psu.edu/sites/default/files/styles/threshold-768/public/CM%20ADD-TICKS221.jpg?itok=Z2ArX1YF

Top left is larva with nymph at its right. Call your doctor about possible exposure to Lyme or other tick-borne disease.

  • They are hard shell same size. I'm in Tennessee. They were alive. Not a tick. Very small had to look through a magnifier to see the legs or them moving. Jul 29, 2019 at 0:56
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    @TerresaMorris Deer ticks have a hard shell. You discount this answer at your own risk. Lyme disease is bad news. Aug 29, 2019 at 21:24

An additional suspect besides the tick family is another member of the Acari - mites.

There are a number of mite species that affect humans, the most common and well known of which is the Scabies Mite (Sarcoptes scabiei). Adult females are in the range of 0.3-0.45 mm/0.012-0.018". They are spherical and you usually can't see the legs. Like all the Acari, there is little separation of the head and body, and they do not have a thorax like the Insecta. The shell of a mite is in a single piece, which will distinguish it from all the beetles, which have split wing-cases over their back.

Mite bites typically result in a red, blistering/pimple-like rash (scabies shown) that is very itchy. Scabies in particular, burrow in the skin and you can see the burrows and bites in tracks on the skin.

There are some other common types of mites that you have probably heard of if you are from Tennessee, such as the Chiggers (several species), which you (and any animals you have) can easily pick up from areas where ticks are found too. Their bite is itchy and pimple-like. Chiggers are about 0.01"/0.4 mm in size and are an orange colour. They are more oval than round, but this depends on species and life-cycle stage as well as engorgement.


I don't think it's a tick.

it leaves a red spot

Ticks cling to the bite spot and embed themselves ever deeper. If the bug left on it's own instead of being removed, I highly doubt it's a tick. Removing a tick even shortly after it has bitten in has that pulling-the-skin sensation.

Not saying it doesn't carry a ton of diseases. On the other hand I have been lucky and from the ~30 ticks I have removed from my body none have infected me with anything noticeable.

I have not yet died nor understand what "a circular halo or a bull's eye rash" means. Please be extremely concerned if a red-ring-white-ring-red-ring pattern occurs. But red-skin-over-fractured-skin-from-removing-the-bug is ... also dangerous(infections) but far less horribly so.

  • Thanks @RoryAlsop♦ for the edit; no idea why had I put what there.
    – Vorac
    Mar 2, 2023 at 14:27
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    You can also add that when a tick byte gets sore it forms a circular halo or a bull's eye rash.
    – FluidCode
    Mar 8, 2023 at 15:12

If not a tick (photo is way too fuzzy) then I would say bedbug nymphs since you indicate they are tiny.

  • I don't think bedbugs itch so much.
    – FluidCode
    Mar 8, 2023 at 15:11

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