Parasitology

Parasitology

Tick Life History

Ticks, like mites, are also in the class Arachnida and have 8 legs and 2 body parts. They hatch as mobile nymphs and can be barely visible up to the size of a jelly bean. After hatching they must eat blood at every life stage. Thus, they can be found in many sizes. They cannot fly or jump but sit on tops of grass, shrubs, and other objects waiting for possibly years to attach to a host. Some species require several hosts to complete their life cycle and this may take up to 3 years. There are many species and most of the diseases passed are specific to the species of tick.

A fun fact: Opossums can eat up to 5,000 ticks in a single season!