what is this and what should i do
May 25, 2015 7:57 AM   Subscribe

So... This is a tick, right?

Found this in my hair this morning. No idea where it came from. I havent left downtown seattle for a couple of weeks. Its a tick, right? What should my follow up be?
posted by kittensofthenight to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
No, it looks like a beetle to me.

(Ticks dont' require any follow up anyway!)
posted by DarlingBri at 7:59 AM on May 25, 2015

Can you take another picture? The glare from the bag makes it hard to tell.
posted by kinetic at 8:00 AM on May 25, 2015

Not a deer tick, looks big for that. And ticks in the US may require follow up, or at least monitoring, as Lyme disease happens here.
posted by kellyblah at 8:02 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't know what that is, but if it was in your hair and not adhered to your scalp, don't worry about it.
posted by something something at 8:08 AM on May 25, 2015

Yeah, with the photo it is hard to tell, and indeed could be a beetle.

Ticks cling to the ends of bushes and grass and such and can drop down on you, so if there is an vegetation at all that you have been near then you can be exposed to ticks potentially. They can also hitch rides on pets.

Here is some info. on ticks in Washington state. Here is a tick photo gallery from the same source so you can compare it and see if it looks like a a tick.

However, the most important thing is that if it was a tick it was not fastened on/dug in to you, which is what has to happen to pass on disease, so I would not worry about it.
posted by gudrun at 8:19 AM on May 25, 2015

Best answer: Looks like a standard wood tick -- as others have said, if you didn't have to pull it out of your skin, the chance of catching a disease from it is practically zero. If it had been attached to you or someone else, its abdomen would be full of blood, that looks like a hungry one.

As for how it got there: they get around by grabbing onto other hairy animals, and wait to grab on hairy animals by holding on to leaves or grass and waiting for one to brush by. That doesn't require the deep forest: they can get carried around by pets and squirrels and coyotes and raccoons that move around cities unseen. This one likely grabbed onto you just being out and about, and you should be glad you found it before it found a place to eat.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:38 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Looks like a tick to me (entomologist).
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:21 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: OK that makes sense. I guess its easier to pick up a tick that I thought. My cats are indoor only but I'll do a thorough check on them. The tick was still crawling around after I first found it, then promptly freaked out and tossed it across the room. A couple minutes later it was crawling back towards me, which is when we bagged it. Glad it hadn't burrowed in yet.
posted by kittensofthenight at 9:33 AM on May 25, 2015

Response by poster: Kinetic- I had a couple other pictures but they are less clear than the one I posted, sorry.
posted by kittensofthenight at 9:34 AM on May 25, 2015

It looks like a weevil if you ask me.
posted by Nevin at 11:29 AM on May 25, 2015

Save it if you can. In the event that you need to get it tested, you'll be glad that you saved it.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:39 PM on May 25, 2015

I'll just Nth the existing answers: this looks like what I know as a "wood tick" but it's not 100% clear from the picture, they can really get around so it's not too surprising, and if it's still crawling around and not embedded in you there's basically nothing to worry about as far as diseases. You can save it if you like, but I wouldn't bother to.

(Most thrilling tick encounter: getting ready for a shower, found one crawling on me and accidentally dropped it. While trying to find it on the floor, I saw it crawl into a spider web and ZOOM! the spider ran out and took care of it, then winched its wrapped-web bundle out of sight up under the cupboard. Hooray for nature!)
posted by traveler_ at 1:15 AM on May 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

could be a carpet beetle
posted by kinoeye at 8:14 AM on May 26, 2015

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