I came home last night to find what looked like poppy seeds on my bed (right...

Asked September 25, 2014, 8:54 AM EDT

I came home last night to find what looked like poppy seeds on my bed (right on top of the sheet). I then realized they were crawling very slowly. I do have a dog and he sometimes gets in the bed but he hadn't been in the bed all day. I have the bugs in a ziplock bag and would like to have them evaluated so I know if I need to have my house treated. This is the only time I've seen anything like this and I'm more than a little worried. Because they're so small, I can't get a good picture but they look like tiny little ticks with a white dot. They're too small for me to count the legs. Please help!

St. Mary's County Maryland

1 Response

We think these look like bloated ticks. These probably finished feeding (on either you or your dog) and then dropped off. We can't tell for sure, but if you are seeing a single white dot, it could be a Lone Star tick. (These do not cause Lyme disease)
Here is a page with instructions on how to have the tick i.d.ed by the Maryland Dept. of Agriculturehttp://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/TickIdentificationMD...

Whether you choose to i.d. the tick or not, you do not need to have your house treated. Your best and safest course of action is to first make sure that your dog is being treated with a tick/flea product like Frontline. This needs to be reapplied monthly for tick control. (Check with your vet). Next, vaccum all areas of your home, and wash the things that you can in the areas your dog frequently rests or sleeps. If you and your dog like to walk/hike in wooded or brushy areas, wear light-colored clothing and treat yourself with a repellent product containing deet or picaridin and get in the habit of daily checking yourself and your dog to monitor for ticks. When they are in this lifestage, sometimes referred to as 'seed ticks' because they are so small, there can be lots of them.
Here is an extension publication about ticks: http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/pdf/ticks.pdf