Size Doesn’t Matter!

Size doesn’t matter!

Please don’t judge a tick by it’s size.

The younger (larva and nymph) of the deer and dog tick are indistinguishable by size.

(picture from CDC, edited by Steve Clark, N.D.)

An engorged deer tick can get quite large as well. Depending on the amount of engorgement, the size of the dog/wood tick and the deer tick are also indistinguishable.


It’s unlikely you will be able to identify an engorged tick at all.  That’s specifically the time you NEED TO KNOW if the tick had any Borrelia or not!  Save the tick and test it.

For a reminder how to save the tick and test it, please go here.

If you are only using size judgements of “small” and “large” you are certainly not identifying the tick accurately.

It is clear that the adult male and female deer ticks are different sizes of the adult male and female dog/wood tick.  If you are sure you have an adult of one of the species, then you can be sure of what kind of tick it is.

I like the tick chart on this website.  I think it’s clear and fun to play with.

Would you bet money, your health or your life based on this question…

If you have to pick only one of these with 100% certainty, which one is the horse?

(source: )


Are you really sure that the tick that bit you is what you was safe based on size alone?

Size doesn’t matter!  I told you so.

Dr. Steve Clark, N.D.







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