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How to identify cattle tick

Comparing cattle ticks to other ticks

Use the following table to distinguish cattle ticks from bush ticks and paralysis ticks.

Bush tick Cattle tick Paralysis tick/Scrub tick
Bush tickCattle tickParalysis tick

Legs:

  • Dark red-brown
  • First pair close to snout

Legs:

  • Pale cream
  • Wide space between first pair and snout

Legs:

  • First and last pair brown, others pale
  • In V-shape line from snout down sides of body

Body:

  • Oval

Body:

  • Oval to rectangular

Body:

  • Pear-shaped to oval

Face:

  • Broadly oval

Face:

  • Oval, wider at front

Face:

  • Oval, wider at rear

Snout:

  • Short, wider at face

Snout:

  • Short, straight

Snout:

  • Very long

Cattle ticks in different stages

The following image shows what cattle ticks look like during different phases of development.

Cattle ticks during different life stages

The following close-up shows 2 engorged female cattle ticks.

Engorged femail cattle ticks

Also consider...