Subject: Bed Bug or Not?
Location: California
April 19, 2015 11:17 am
found this on the back of my son and it was hard to pull it off. This was a single occcurance as well, I have moved the furniture and removed mattresses but no sign of eggs or more insects. I’m wondering if it’s a bed bug or something else which I don’t have to worry about eggs and infestation. I did already get bed bug spray as precaution and sprayed my kids bedrooms edges and corners as well.
Thanks in advance.
Signature: Ali


Dear Ali,
This is a Tick, not a Bed Bug, and it was most likely picked up outdoors.  Based on this image posted to BugGuide, it looks like an American Dog Tick,
Dermacentor variabilis.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:  “American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) is the most commonly identified species responsible for transmitting Rickettsia rickettsii, which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans. The American dog tick can also transmit tularemia. This tick is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains and also occurs in limited areas on the Pacific Coast. D. variabilis larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents. Dogs and medium-sized mammals are the preferred hosts of adult D. variabilis, although it feeds readily on other large mammals, including humans.”

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