There are 43 bugs that look like ticks; this article will give you an idea about their behavior. Some insects and spiders seem similar to ticks, making identification difficult. On the other hand, ticks may be distinguished from their countless imitators if you know what to look for.
Ticks – A Brief Overview
Ticks (order Ixodida) are parasitic arachnids of the Parasitiformes mite superorder. Adult ticks range in length from 3mm to 5 mm, depending on age.
Ticks are classified into two families: Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks). Nuttalliella, a tick genus from southern Africa, is the sole member of the Nuttalliellidae family and represents the most basic extant tick lineage. Adults have eight legs and ovoid/pear-shaped bodies (idiosomas) that become engorged with blood as they feed.
Ticks are tough, hardy, and resilient creatures. Ticks can survive in a near vacuum for up to 30 minutes. During their inactive phases, their slow metabolism allows them to endure long periods without eating. During droughts, they can go for up to eighteen weeks without drinking or eating.
Ticks smell their hosts’ breath and body scents, as well as body heat, moisture, and vibrations. Ticks are often thought to jump onto their hosts or fall from trees, although they are not capable of flying or jumping.
Many tick species, particularly Ixodidae, wait in what is described as a “questing” stance. While searching, ticks cling to leaves and grasses with their third and fourth pairs of legs. They have the first pair of legs outstretched, ready to grab and climb on any passing host.
Ticks can be found anywhere their host species exist. Migrating birds carry ticks; a study of migratory birds passing through Egypt revealed that more than half of the bird species investigated were carrying ticks. It was also discovered that tick species differed based on the migration season, which in this study was spring and fall. It is assumed to be related to the seasonal periodicities of the different species.
Ticks have been linked to the spread of numerous pathogen-borne illnesses, including bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. A tick can carry multiple pathogens, making diagnosis more complex.
43 Bugs That Look Like Ticks
Weevils, also known as nunus, are beetles that belong to the subfamily Curculionoidea and are distinguished by their elongated snouts. They are primarily herbivorous and small, measuring less than 6 mm (1/4 in) in length. There are around 97,000 species of weevils identified.
The majority of weevils can fly. However, a large number are flightless.
Mites are arthropods with eight legs. Mites are members of two enormous orders of arachnids, the Acariformes and the Parasitiformes, which were previously classified together in the subclass Acari. Still, a genetic investigation has revealed no firm evidence of a close relationship.
Most mites are small, measuring less than 1 mm (0.04 in) in length and having a basic, unsegmented body plan. Most species are easily overlooked due to their small size; some dwell in water, many live in soil as decomposers, some live on plants, occasionally causing galls, and still others are predators or parasites.
A woodlouse is an isopod crustacean belonging to Isopoda’s monophyletic suborder Oniscidea order. They acquire their name because they are frequently seen in old wood.
The woodlouse has a shell-like exoskeleton that it must shed as it grows. The molt occurs in two stages: the back half is lost first, followed by the front half two or three days later. This molting procedure differs from that of most arthropods, which lose their cuticle in a single step.
The Cucumber Beetle
Cucumber beetle is a popular name for members of two beetle genera, Diabrotica and Acalymma, both of which are members of the Chrysomelidae family. Adults can be found on cucurbits like cucumbers and several other plants. Many are well-known agricultural pests. The larvae of several cucumber beetles are known as corn rootworms.
The insects have a lifespan of around eight weeks, during which time both the larva and the adult graze on plants. Adults will attack the sensitive early growth of stems and leaves and mature specimens’ buds and petals.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Adult brown marmorated stink bugs are about 1.7 cm (0.67 in) long and nearly the same width, forming the heraldic shield shape typical of bugs in the Pentatomoidea superfamily.
They are usually a dark brown with a creamy white-brown underside when viewed from above. Individual color varies, with some bugs being red, grey, light brown, copper, or black.
The glands that create the protective compounds (the smell) are found on the underside of the thorax, between the first and second set of legs, similar to all stink bugs.
Thyreocoridae (Ebony Bugs) is a genuine bug family. They are nocturnal. This family’s members are small (less than 6 mm) and lustrous black. They consume grasses, weeds, berries, and flowers as food.
The lack of sharp spines on their tibiae distinguishes them from burrowing bugs (Cydnidae). They are similar to shield-backed bugs (Scutelleridae) but smaller and darker in color.
Cabbage bugs are plant-eating insects. Adults and nymphs eat on the stems and leaves of plants such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnip, radish, horseradish, mustard, and rapeseed piercing-sucking feeding frequently cause blotching.
These plants are commercially essential and numerous in agriculture fields, but harlequin bugs can also feed on wild plants when they are not in production.
Smooth Spider Beetle
The smooth spider beetle is a type of spider beetle in the Ptinidae family.
It can be found in Europe, the Caribbean, Northern Asia (excluding China), North America, Central America, and South America. Gibbium psylloides have been reported from several places in the world.
Clover mites are oval-shaped arachnids that measure 0.75-0.85 mm (0.030-0.033 in) long and have a pair of long legs pointing forward that are frequently mistaken for antennae.
They are reddish brown in color, with younger ones and eggs being a vivid red. They are highly prevalent in North America in late spring.
Clover mites are polyphagous, eating various plants such as grasses, dandelion, strawberry, Salvia, Alyssum, daffodil, and primrose.
Deer flies are blood-sucking insects that are considered pests to humans and livestock. They’re big flies with brightly colored compound eyes and enormous transparent wings with dark bands. There are 250 different types of deer flies.
Deer flies deposit batches of 100 to 800 eggs on foliage near water or dampness. They feed on tiny organisms or rotting organic debris near or in the water during the larval stage, this stage lasts one to three years.
Anthrax, hog cholera, horse infectious anemia, anaplasmosis, and filariasis are among the parasites and diseases transmitted by the deer fly.
Chiggers (Trombiculidae) live in forests and grasslands, as well as in low, moist vegetation such as woodlands, orchards, near lakes and streams, and even in drier environments where vegetation is low, such as golf courses and parks.
They are most abundant in early June when grass and other vegetation are most abundant. They attach to numerous animals, including humans, as larvae and feed on skin, producing itching.
These tick relatives are nearly minuscule, measuring 400 m (1/60 of an inch) and possessing a chrome-orange color.
Head Louse Bugs
Humans are obligate ectoparasites of the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis). Head louse are wingless insects that spend their whole lives on the human scalp, living solely on human blood.
The only known hosts of this parasite are humans. Head louse eradication initiatives have been and continue to be conducted, particularly among youngsters. Unlike body louse, head louse are not known disease carriers; nonetheless, clawing at bites can result in uncommon secondary illnesses.
The body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus, also known as Pediculus humanus corporis) is a human-infesting hematophagic ectoparasite louse.
Body lice, despite their name, do not live on the host. They lay their eggs on clothes fibers and only come into contact with the host when they need to eat. Because body lice cannot jump or fly, they transmit through direct touch with another person or, in rare cases, through contact with infested clothing or bed sheets.
Booklice bugs (Psocids) are small scavenger insects with an overall body plan. In nature, they feed primarily on mushrooms, algae, lichen, and organic waste. Still, they have also been observed feeding on starch-based household products such as grains, wallpaper adhesive, and book bindings.
They have chewing mandibles and a short rod-shaped central lobe of the maxilla.
Nymphs of the Harlequin Bug
The harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica), also known as the calico bug, fire bug, or harlequin insect, is a black stinkbug of the Pentatomidae family with striking red, orange, yellow, and white colors.
Adults and nymphs eat on the stems and leaves of plants such as broccoli, kale, radish, cabbage, mustard, and rapeseed, and their piercing-sucking feeding frequently causes blotching.
harlequin bug is a major pest of cabbage and related Brassicaceae crops, as well as the ornamental flower cleome, throughout tropical and North America, particularly in the warmer portions of the US.
The silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) is a tiny, primitive, wingless insect of the Zygentoma order (formerly Thysanura). The insect’s popular name is derived from its silvery light grey hue and the fish-like look of its motions.
The silverfish is a nocturnal bug that measures 13-25 mm (0.5-1.0 in) in length. It has a fish-like abdomen that tapers towards the end. The young are pale, but as they grow older, they gain a gray hue and a metallic luster.
Most of the kissing bug (Triatomine) subfamily’s 130 or so species feed on vertebrate blood, with only a few feeding on invertebrates. They are primarily found and widely distributed in the Americas, with a few species being found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. These bugs typically coexist alongside nesting vertebrates from whom they draw blood.
All triatomine species are possible vectors of the Chagas disease parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, but only those that are well adapted to living with people are considered potential vectors.
Black Bean Aphids
The black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) is a small black bug with a broad, soft body that belongs to the order Hemiptera.
This aphid also serves as a carrier for plant-disease-causing viruses, and the honeydew it secretes may promote the establishment of sooty mold.
This aphid is a little, chubby bug around two millimeters long with a small head and bulbous abdomen that is commonly observed in high numbers. The body has a dark green or blackish tint. Many adults do not have wings.
Mealybugs are unarmored scale insects in the Pseudococcidae family that live in wet, warm insects. Many species are considered pests because they feed on the plant juices of greenhouse plants, house plants, and subtropical trees and serve as a vector for various plant diseases.
Female mealybugs feed on plant sap, which is typically found in roots or other cracks, and in rare cases, the bottoms of preserved fruit. They cling to the plant and release a powdered wax covering (thus the term “mealy” bug) to protect themselves while sucking the plant juices.
The varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) is the Dermestidae family’s 3 mm long beetle. They are a common species that is frequently regarded as a nuisance in household homes, where the larvae can cause damage to natural textiles, carpets, furniture, clothing, and insect collections.
Adult carpet beetles measure 1.7 to 3.5 mm in length (0.07 to 0.14 in). The body is rounded and nearly spherical. The elytra and pronotum are covered in thin scales of various colors, resulting in an uneven pattern of white, brownish, and yellowish patches.
Pyrrhalta viburni, often known as the viburnum leaf beetle, is a species of leaf beetle native to Europe and Asia.
The larvae and adults both devour the leaves of Viburnum species, but at opposite periods of the year: the larvae in the spring and the adults in the summer. Plants may become entirely defoliated as a result of their feeding activities.
The squash bug (Anasa tristis) is a type of bug in the Coreidae family. Squash bug is a serious pest of pumpkin and squash throughout North America and a carrier of the bacterium which causes cucurbit yellow vine disease. When disturbed, these bugs can release an unpleasant stench.
The mature squash bug is a greyish brown, somewhat flattened insect that is around 1.5 cm (0.6 in) in length and 0.75 cm in breadth (0.3 in). Along the border of the abdomen, there is often a row of alternate brown and gold markings.
Swallow bugs (Oeciacus vicarious) are a type of bed insect of the Cimicidae family. It is native to North America.
Swallow bugs infest swallow bird nests. Swallow bugs are parasites which feed on the blood of swallow birds and their nestlings.
Whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae) are a family of water beetles that prefer to swim on the top of the water when not disturbed but dive underneath if attacked. They derive their popular name from their tendency to swim quickly in circles when disturbed, and they are also remarkable for their split eyes, which let them to see both above and below water.
Whirligig beetles are notable for their perplexing swimming. Their coloring isn’t particularly eye-catching, and they can be challenging to spot if they’re not moving or are submerged. However, most species are attractively colored in steely grey or bronze.
The ash plant insect (Tropidosteptes amoenus) is a plant bug species in the Miridae family. It is native to North America.
The ash plant bug is a light brown “real bug” that measures approximately 3/8 inch long and has heart-shaped markings on the scutellum. The nymphs are more oval, with a bright yellowish or reddish brown coloration.
Anobiinae is a subfamily of beetles in the Ptinidae family, comprising at least 45 species.
This beetle was previously classified as a member of the Anobiidae family, but its classification has now been moved to Ptinidae.
Many species’ larvae bore into wood, earning them the names “woodworm” or “wood borer.”
The White-Margined Burrower
The white-margined burrower insect (Sehirus cinctus) is a burrowing bug genus in the Cydnidae subfamily Sehirinae. They are genuine bugs that belong to the suborder Heteroptera. They eat plants from the families Urticaceae (nettle) and Lamiaceae (mint).
After the young hatch, the mother will bring food to them in the burrow for 1-3 days before leaving them to forage on their own.
Cockroaches are an ancient group, with ancestors dating back to the Carboniferous epoch, approximately 300-350 million years ago. However, their early relatives lacked the internal ovipositors found in current roaches.
Most cockroach species are approximately the size of a thumbnail, while others are larger. The Australian giant burrowing cockroach Macropanesthia rhinoceros is the world’s biggest cockroach.
The Chinch Bug
The Chinch Bug (Blissus leucopterus) is a small North American bug that belongs to the order Hemiptera and the family Blissidae. Chinch bugs devour grass family plants, both wild and cultivated, such as wheat, oats, and maize. They suck sap from developing plants. When the plants ripen or get dry, they move on to feed on other growing plants.
These bugs swarm in open, sunny patches of turfgrass. Because chinch bugs are small and inconspicuous, they can cause issues because they feed on the stems of turfgrass and grain crops.
The sawtoothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis, belongs to the Cucujoidea superfamily. It is a widespread pest of grains, grain products, chocolate, pharmaceuticals, and cigarettes.
Oryzaephilus surinamensis can be found all over the world. The beetle is one of the most prevalent stored product pests and is found across the food sector, including food processing, storage, and retail facilities.
Dermaptera is the insect order that includes earwigs. They are one of the smaller insect orders, with roughly 2,000 species divided into 12 families. Earwigs have distinctive cerci, a pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen, and membrane wings folded behind short, rarely used forewings, giving rise to the scientific order name “skin wings.”
Earwigs are widespread and can be found in the Americas and Eurasia.
The Common Flea
The order Siphonaptera includes 2,500 species of small flightless insects that live as external parasites on mammals and birds. Fleas survive by devouring blood from their hosts, a process known as hematophagy. Adult fleas are roughly 3 millimeters (18 inches) long, brown, and have “flattened” sideways or narrow bodies that allow them to glide through their host’s fur or feathers.
Fleas are holometabolous insects that go through four phases of development: egg, larva, pupa, and imago (adult).
Bed bugs are insects from the genus Cimex, which feed on human blood at night time. Their bites can cause rashes, allergy reactions, and psychological consequences, among other things.
Bed bug bites can lead to skin changes ranging from minor redness to small blisters. Itching is common, and symptoms might emerge anywhere from minutes to days.
The drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum), often known as the buiscuit beetle is a tiny, brown beetle that can be found infesting a wide range of dried plant goods, where it is one of the most frequent non-weevils.
The drugstore beetle, as the name implies, feeds on pharmaceutical items. This is due to its affinity for dried herbs and plant material occasionally.
The firebrat (Thermobia domestica), also known as Thermophila furnorum) is a small hexapod (usually 1-1.5 cm) of the Zygentoma order.
Firebrats, like higher temperatures, need humidity and can be found in bakeries and near boilers or furnaces. They eat a wide array of carbs and starches containing protein, such as dog food, wheat, and book bindings.
Bat bugs are blood-sucking insect parasites that predominantly feed on bat blood. The name bat bug has been applied to members of the Cimicidae family and the Polyctenidae family.
Bat bugs are found in houses and buildings that contain bats and are reasonably prevalent in the Midwest of the United States. They have also been observed in Scotland. In most cases, bats carrying the bugs on their skin spread the infestations into human dwellings.
Termites are eusocial insects classed as infraorder Isoptera, or alternatively as the epifamily Termitoidae, inside the order Blattodea (along with cockroaches).
Termites are one of the most widely spread insect types on earth, colonizing all areas except Antarctica. Their colonies will range in size from a few hundred termites to massive societies with millions of them.
Atelurinae is a prehistoric insect subfamily in the order Zygentoma. It was once considered a separate family, but it is now regarded as a subfamily of the Nicoletiidae. They are usually found in ants’ nests or termites, where they live as inquilines.
Pillbugs (Armadillidiidae) are a family of woodlice in the order Isopoda. Unlike members of other woodlice families, members of this family may roll into a ball. A trait shared with the superficially similar but unrelated pill millipedes and other animals.
Pill bugs feed primarily on decaying or degraded plant materials, such as leaves and, to a lesser extent, wood fibers. Pill bugs will also consume living plants, particularly in moist situations, including leaves, stems, shoots, roots, tubers, and fruits.
Because they hunt on clothing moth larvae, carpet booklice, ants, small flies, and termites, pseudoscorpions are generally helpful to humans. They are tiny and, despite being ubiquitous in various places, are rarely recognized due to their small size.
Pseudoscorpions are members of the Arachnida class.
They are small arachnids with a flat, pear-shaped body and scorpion-like pincer-like pedipalps. They are typically 2 to 8 mm (0.08 to 0.31 in) in length.
Lepismatidae is a family of prehistoric wingless insects that includes approximately 190 species. This family consists of the two most well-known species of the Zygentoma order: the silverfish and the firebrat. Lepismatide is one of five families in the Zygentoma order.
Lepismatids are elongated, flattened insects that are primarily scavengers.
Larder Skin Beetle
The Larder skin beetle (Dermestidae) is a Coleoptera family that is generally referred to as skin beetles. There are between 500 and 700 species on the planet. They might be as small as 1 mm or as large as 12 mm. Adults have spherical oval-shaped bodies that are covered in scales.
Larder skin beetles are harmful to a variety of ordinary objects. Cotton, wool, linen silk, fur, and feathers are far more vulnerable to attack than synthetic fibers.
Ground beetles (Carabidae) are a diverse family of beetles that, while their body shapes and colors vary, the majority are shiny black or metallic with ridged wing covers (elytra). Some species, particularly the big Carabinae, have fused elytra, rendering the beetles unable to fly.
Bugs That Look Like Ticks – Conclusion
You will find several bugs that look like ticks, and we hope that you have a clear idea about which bugs look like ticks and not to mistake them for ticks in the future.