Photo Shows What Tick Eggs Look Like-Fiction!

Photo Shows What Tick Eggs Look Like-Reported as Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A photo making the rounds on social media shows a tick eggs and warns viewers to burn it if they see it.

The Truth:

This photo has been circulating since at least 2015, and details about where and when it was taken are spotty. That makes verifying its claims that it shows a tick eggs difficult. But, based on similar claims on photos, we’re reporting this one as fiction.
Like many rumors about ticks and insects, this one tends to resurface whenever the summer outdoor season approaches. Given people’s (justifiable) phobia of ticks, these warnings get lots of attention on social media. But, unfortunately, many of them are light on facts. This particular photo shows a black glob of “eggs.” It comes with a a common warning: “If you see this, burn the entire pile. Tick eggs. It’s the size of a quarter.”

Warnings about “tick nests” on social media appear to be based on a photo that doesn’t actually show a tick nest.

Given that there’s nothing in the photo to provide perspective, there’s no way to prove or disprove that the glob is actually the size of a quarter. But, based on how highly detailed the individual “eggs” appear in the photo, it’s safe to assume the glob is larger than a quarter — or that the photo was taken with a “macro lens,” which is designed for shooting very small items and close range. Either way, there’s no way to make a determination on the claim that it’s the size of a quarter.
But at second glance, these eggs don’t match the description of tick eggs. Tick eggs can be reddish-brown or black, but they’re always translucent. And they’re also tiny. Deer tick larvae are about .07 millimeters long. The “eggs” that appear in that photo appear to be much larger. In fact, they appear to be larger than most full-grown ticks.
Finally, photos that resemble the small black eggs shown in this one have been misidentified as tick nests in the past. In May 2016, there was a social media uproar in Dundas, Ontario, about a tick nest supposedly discovered in a park there. The photo appears to show the same black larvae — just must more of it.  Local public health officials concluded, based on size and appearance, that the photo did not show a tick nest:

Similar photos have been misidentified as tick nests in the past, including this one from Ontario.

Tick nests can be discovered and destroyed in the wild. But this photo does not show a tick nest.