Difference Between A Tick and Crabs

by Sal

How do you tell the difference between a tick and crabs?

I am a male. I found what appears to be a tick burrowed into my pubic area and then was questioning whether it could be a crab!

Hi Sal,

There are some particular differences between a tick and crabs.

A tick will burrow it's head into your skin and suck your blood until it's body is really bloated with your blood.

Crabs bite, but don't really burrow. Their bite causes an allergic reaction that really makes you itch. Crabs lay their eggs attached to your pubic hair, much like head lice on your hair.
Types of Ticks
difference between a tick and crabs

Body Crab
difference between a tick and crabs

Although ticks and crabs may seem to look a bit similar, upon closer inspection, you'll notice some differences.

First of all, they both have 8 legs, but you can see that body crabs have a pair of legs coming off of their head section. It really does look "crab-like."

Secondly, if you notice the crab is wider near the head and tapers more narrowly toward the back.

The tick is just the opposite. The tick is narrower near the head and gets wider as it goes toward the back.

Those are the most noticeable differences between a tick and crabs.

Was this critter actually burrowed into your skin or just burrowed into your hair? If its head was burrowed into your skin, it was most likely a tick.

If the head wasn't embedded in your skin, that doesn't rule out a tick. It may have just not bitten you yet, but considering the area where you found it, that's not very likely. It would have been there long enough to get comfy and start sucking your blood. :)

Is that any help in identifying your little culprit for you? I hope so.


Comments for Difference Between A Tick and Crabs

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Apr 27, 2010
Tick Bite
by: TaraT

If your culprit was a tick and you were bitten, then watch for flu like symptoms and possibly a bullseye rash in the next week or two.

I would suggest you keep the tick and take it to a lab to be tested for lyme disease...If the tick is positive then you need to be treated immediately for lyme disease and any co-infections.

Lyme disease can be fatal in some instances if it is not treated promptly and correctly.

Hoping you weren't bit.


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