HEY! What bit me?

It looks like...

It's a


Deer Tick (Top row)

Dog Tick (Bottom row)

Note that the adult dog ticks are somewhat larger than adult deer ticks, and have characteristic white markings on the top side. Ticks "bite" by inserting its cutting mandibles and feeding tube into the skin and then drawing a blood meal over a few days, then drop off the animal when full. In some cases ticks will live for some time on the blood of an animal. Detailed information is available online


Ticks can carry Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection that should be treated quickly.

Deer Fly

(also known as yellow flies)

Deer flies belong to the family called horse-flies, are smaller than wasps, and they have coloured eyes and dark bands across their wings. While female deer flies feed on blood, males instead collect pollen. When feeding, females use knife-like mandibles and maxillae to make a cross-shaped incision and then lap up the blood. Their bite can be extremely painful, and resulting allergic reaction from the saliva of the fly can result in further discomfort and health concerns. Pain and itch are the most common symptoms.

Horse Fly

Horse Flies they are among the world's largest true flies, and are extremely noisy during flight. There are approximately 350 species of horse flies found in North America. Adult horse flies feed on nectar and sometimes pollen. Females require a blood meal for reproduction, and unlike insects which surreptitiously puncture the skin with needle-like organs, horse flies have tiny, serrated mandibles which they use to rip and/or slice flesh apart.


Adult females lay their eggs in water, and both male and female mosquitoes are nectar feeders, but the females of many species drink blood, not for their own survival, but to develop eggs. Prior to and during blood feeding, they inject saliva into the bodies of their source(s) of blood. This saliva thins the blood so the proboscis does not become clogged with blood clots. Female mosquitoes hunt their blood host by detecting carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1-octen-3-ol from a distance.


The larval stage of a harvest mites

In their larval stage they attach to various animals, including humans, and feed on skin (but not blood), often causing itching. These relatives of ticks are nearly microscopic measuring 1/100 of an inch and have a chrome-orange color. After crawling onto their host, they inject digestive enzymes into the skin that break down skin cells. They do not actually "bite," but instead form a hole in the skin and chew up tiny parts of the inner skin, thus causing severe irritation and swelling.


or biting midges

No-see-ums are tiny biting flies that often live near water. You often see many of them swarming together in a cloud. Biting midges are called no-see-ums because they’re so tiny that it is hard to see ‘um, as they are less than ¼ of an inch long. Only the females bite and suck blood, to make their eggs. When a no see um pierces the flesh, it injects a liquid that thins the blood to keep it from clotting, causing irritation and triggering the body’s immune system.