Ticks Facts

Ticks Facts
Ticks are small animals that belong to the group of arachnids. They are closely related to spiders and scorpions. There are less than 1000 species of ticks that can be found all over the world. Ticks live in moist and warm habitats. Some species tolerate temperatures near zero. Ticks are parasites that transmit numerous diseases. Humans use chemicals, birds (which eat ticks) and wasps (which lay eggs inside the ticks) to keep these animals under control.
Interesting Ticks Facts:
Size of tick depends on the developmental stage. Larva is large as grain of sand, nymph as poppy seed and adult animal as apple seed. Females are larger than males.
Females have reddish body covered with black markings. Males are usually dark brown in color.
Body is divided in two segments. Head and mouth are located on the anterior part of the body. Four pairs of legs are located on the posterior part of the body. Ticks do not have antennas and wings.
Ticks feed on blood. Larvae feed on the blood of mice and birds. Nymphs and adult insects feed on the blood of large animals such as dogs, deer and humans.
Ticks can detect their hosts via body odor, temperature, moisture and vibration. Sensory organ which helps in identification of potential hosts is located on the legs.
Ticks can survive without food 200 days.
Ticks are not able to fly or jump. When they identify ideal host, ticks crawl until they find suitable place to attach themselves. Ticks prefer skin on the area of head, neck and ears because it is soft and can be penetrated easily.
Deer tick needs to eat only three times during its life cycle: once during the larval stage, once in the stage of nymph and once as an adult.
Ticks transmit numerous bacterial and viral diseases such as Lyme disease, Q fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis and bovine anaplasmosis, among others.
Deer tick transmits Lyme disease, which is very dangerous bacterial disease. 9 out of 10 people do not know that they are infected with Lyme disease because initial symptoms resemble flu.
Ticks need to be attached at least 24 hours to the human’s skin before they are able to transmit disease.
People can protect themselves from ticks by wearing tick-repellent cloths or by using sprays which repel ticks. In the case of bite, tick should be detached from the skin with tweezers as fast as possible.
Female ticks need to double their size before they are ready to lay eggs. They produce around 2000 eggs that are usually laid under the pile of leaves.
Ticks undergo complete metamorphosis. Larvae hatch from the eggs and transform into nymphs. Nymphs molt one or more times before they transform into adult animals.
Ticks can survive from 2 months to 2 years, depending on the species.

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