Order Acarina

Ticks

Biology

Ticks are carriers of serious diseases including encephalitis, tick paralysis, Lyme disease and typhus, so should be taken care of as soon as they are identified or suspected. Living on the bodies of mammals, birds and reptiles, Ticks seek blood meals and will swell to a substantial size after feeding.

While their appearance varies by species, all adult Ticks are small and round, with eight legs (larvae or seed ticks have six legs), and measure from 1/8 to 1/2 inch long. Adult Ticks can live more than 500 days without a blood meal.

Ticks usually mate while on the host animal. There are two types of female Ticks – hard and soft. Hard female Ticks will feed only once, then lay a large batch of up to 10,000 eggs. Soft female Ticks feed several times and will lay 20 to 50 eggs after each meal. The eggs hatch within 20 to 60 days.

Factoid

Ticks are not insects. Ticks have eight legs as an adult and two body segments, whereas insects have six legs as an adult and three body segments. Ticks are arachnids, as are chiggers, spiders and mites. (Factoid Source: The Lyme Disease Foundation)

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