Ticks are parasitic in nature, living on hosts much larger than themselves. Ticks feed on the blood of their chosen hosts and are transmitters of various diseases. While neither ticks nor fleas choose humans as their primary hosts, both parasites are known to bite and feed on humans in the absence of other food sources.
Like other arachnids, adult ticks possess four pairs of legs. However, as larvae, they bear only six legs and gain their fourth pair after molting. Their territories are not defined by specific location; rather, they tend to dwell within the habitats of their preferred hosts. Thus, the pests may be found in areas as diverse as forests, grasslands, and human homes. After hatching, all stages of a tick’s life cycle feed on blood.
Where Do They Live?
Often found near wooded and highly vegetated areas. Some species require moisture to survive. Indoors, the may live inside cracks, crevices, or their host’s nest or burrow
What Do They Eat?
Females and males of most species feed on blood of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Each species does have a preferred host, although most will feed on whatever blood is available to them. Thus, ticks are known to bite:
Ticks consume blood meals during all four stages of their life cycles. Pathogens, or organisms that cause diseases in the animals they infect, can be passed through the stages of a tick’s life cycle. There are four stages: