A squashed tick looks like a flattened, slightly oval-shaped shape that is dark in color, usually brown. The squash tick is generally quite small in size with sharp points at either end of its body. Its body or exoskeleton typically appears smooth as well. Squashed ticks are commonly found after a recent infestation on pets and humans, and may serve as evidence for determining the species of tick involved. They can also sometimes be found attached to their host or hiding away in crevices, cracks and the wide open spaces around the home. In most cases, however, the squished tick will emit a distinct odor associated with the insect’s excretions which may help locate it more easily.
Introduction to ticks & how to identify them
Ticks are tiny, eight-legged parasites that feed off the blood of mammals and birds. They come in several shapes and sizes, which creates difficulty in identifying them correctly. Therefore it is important to familiarize yourself with common tick species and the characteristics that identify them.
One way to describe a typical tick is by its shape: a flattened oval or pear shape with an almost shoulderless body. The head is small with a pair of long front legs, while only having visible four segmented legs behind that are visible from the sides. Depending on the species, colors can range from black to dark brown and even reddish-brown when engorged. Some ticks have distinguishing markings like light colored bands or dots on their bodies as well.
Once you know how to recognize a basic tick by sight, you can more easily identify what a squashed tick looks like once stepped on!
Overview of the differences between a live tick and a squashed tick
When a live tick meets its untimely end squished between your fingers, it’s often difficult to tell the difference between a live tick and a squashed one. However, there are some key differences that can help you identify which is which.
A live tick will be slightly plump and feel normal to the touch. The surface of the body might feel unpleasantly bumpy and slightly slimy, as if it is covered in tiny hairs. On contrast, when a tick is squashed, its body becomes much flatter and drier. The coating of fine hairs will also disappear because they are too small seresto dog collar for us to see them without magnification.
It is also important to keep in mind that after the tick has been squashed it may still have legs that appear to be moving – this does not mean the walk is alive! This occurs because the nerves that innervate those appendages remain intact for some minutes after death.
The physical appearance of a squashed tick
A squashed tick looks like a flat, oval-shaped object that is reddish-brown in color. The shape of the tick may vary depending on its size and how recently it was flattened. It’s relatively small, usually only a few millimeters long, although its limbs may be several times longer.
When you view the squashed tick closely, you can identify the head and four pairs of legs along the sides. Its mouthparts are still visible and will point toward the head end. You may also see black or brown dots along the surface which are actually its eyes and palps – tiny appendages used by ticks to sense their environment. Finally, if you look closely you might be able to make out tiny pores all over its body that lets oxygen enter into its bloodstream.
Possible health risks associated with a tick bite
A squashed tick looks like a flattened version of its original self, with two distinct body parts; the head and the abdomen. Unfortunately, simply squashing a tick does not mean that you have eradicated the potential for health risks associated with it. A tick bite can transmit a variety of dangerous illnesses, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis – all of which are serious conditions that require medical attention.
It is important to take certain steps to reduce these risks. Before going outside or into tall grass or wooded areas, use an insect repellent containing DEET or Permethrin. Additionally, wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible to give ticks fewer places to attach themselves. When outdoors, regularly check yourself and your family members for ticks – and make sure you remove any ticks you find carefully to prevent their heads from being left behind in your skin. Finally, it’s advisable to see a doctor if you develop any symptoms after getting bitten by a tick – such as rash redness around the area or flu-like symptoms – as these could indicate a serious illness.
What to do if you find or are bitten by a tick
If you find or are bitten by a tick, the first thing you should do is remove it from your skin as quickly as possible. Do not attempt to pinch or squeeze it; instead, use fine tweezers and grasp the body of the tick around its mouthparts close to your skin. Gently pull straight up with steady pressure until the tick releases its grip. After removal, thoroughly cleanse the affected area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
Once removed, if you have squashed the tick while trying to remove it, you will notice that it looks like a flat disc with legs sticking out from all sides of its circular form. The colors of the head and body depend on when the tick has last Feed (filled) itself but they often range in color from brown to black. As ticks can carry numerous diseases and illnesses, seek medical attention after removing a tick if you have been bitten by one.