With their fur-free bodies spotting ticks on your reptile, especially after the tick has been feeding, shouldn’t be too difficult. A tick that has had a full meal of blood can be nearly a centimetre in length, and should be noticeable unless it is tucked somewhere difficult to see. Ticks often sit in area with the thinnest scaling, and where they are least likely to be nibbled or brushed off – this can include behind the legs and around the nostrils, eyes and vent.
Handling your reptile regularly should be part of their routine, and this is also the best time to give them a full check over – this should include feeling them all over for any skin changes, lumps or parasites.
Any lumps should be thoroughly inspected – ticks can be identified by the small legs at the level of the skin. If you aren’t sure, your vet can help you – any new lumps should always be checked by a vet anyway, so don’t be shy asking for advice if you need it.
You may see swelling around the tick, but often the skin around looks normal. If you do find a tick, don’t be tempted to just pull it off. Tick mouthpieces are buried in the skin, and pulling off a tick can leave these parts within the skin surface, leading to infections.