What are Ticks?
The eight-legged parasitic arachnids called Ticks can be found in the same family as spiders, mites and scorpions. Ticks have no wings and a unique oval-shaped body. They have two sensory structures on their heads (palps and chops) which help them find hosts. A barbed structure (hypostome), which they use to attach themselves to their host for food, is also available.
The tick color can vary depending on the species. Tick larvae can grow to a length of less than one mm and can grow up to 1 cm in length if they are engorged with blood. Adults can also be smaller than a sunflower seeds. Ticks only have six legs in their larval stage, and eight during the nymphal or adult stages.
What kinds of Ticks are there?
The deer tick is brownish-orange and has distinctive dark-colored legs. Adult ticks are approximately the same size as a sesame seeds before they are fed. Because they prefer deer as their host, they are called deer ticks. They also feed on many other animals and humans, in addition to deer.
Lone Star Tick
After being fed, lone star ticks turn a slate grey color. They are reddish brown. One white spot is found on the back of female lone star ticks. Males have several smaller white spots. White lines are also found on the top of males' bodies. This tick species prefers larger hosts such as dogs, deer and people to smaller rodents.
Asian Longhorned Ticks
The Asian longhorned tick adult looks much the same as other ticks that can be found in homes or wooded areas. These ticks can be found in four stages of life: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult.
Brown Dog Ticks
Brown dog ticks, as their name suggests, prefer to eat the blood of dogs. They can also bite humans and other animals.
Behavior and Habitat of Ticks
Many species are found in areas with dense vegetation and wooded areas. Certain species need moisture to survive. The species may survive indoors in cracks, crevices or the burrow of their host.
Males and females of most species eat blood from birds, mammals, and reptiles. Although each species has a preferred host for their food, most will eat whatever is available. Bite is a common behavior of ticks.
- Dogs and cats
Ticks eat blood meals at all stages of their lives. Pathogens are organisms that can cause disease in animals and can be passed on through each stage of a tick's lifespan. There are four stages to the tick's life cycle:
Fleas vs. Ticks
Ticks and fleas are parasitic, living on larger hosts than they are. Fleas and ticks both feed on the blood of their hosts and transmit various diseases. Despite the fact that neither fleas nor ticks prefer humans as primary hosts, both parasites have been known to feed on human blood in the absence any other food sources.
Adult ticks have four pairs of legs, just like other arachnids. As larvae, however, they have six legs. After molting, they get their fourth pair. They do not live in specific areas, but rather they prefer to be near their hosts. The pests can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and homes. All stages of the tick's life cycle depend on blood, including hatching.
Fleas are six-legged insects. Fleas are not able to fly and have no wings. The flea's flat bodies and long legs have been adapted to allow for impressive jumping skills as well as the ability to maneuver through dense fur and hair unimpeded. There are many species of fleas that live in homes around the globe. The complete metamorphosis occurs in the form of an egg, larval, pupa, and adult flea. Only adults eat blood.
Ticks can transmit serious diseases such as lyme disease and colorado tick fever. Learn more about ticks and how you can prevent them.
How to get rid of my Ticks problem?
Ticks can be classified as a variety of parasitic arachnids, with many behavioral characteristics. If Ticks become an issue, contact your local Alta Pest Control professional to request an inspection.