Like spiders, ticks are also arachnids. Interestingly, adult ticks have eight legs, whereas young ticks only have six legs. Ticks are parasites that feed on blood. They are often found in tall grass and shrubs and attach themselves to passing hosts.
Ticks are great hitchhikers, and physical contact is their only method of transportation. They do not jump or fly, although they may drop from above to fall onto a host. Ticks are more active outdoors in warm weather but can attack a host at any time. As temperatures drop, ticks will become more aggressive to find a host before winter comes. Ticks especially like to live near water, where warm-blooded animals come to drink.
The tick and its array of problems is a close second only to mosquitoes for causing potential diseases in humans. Ticks usually aren’t born carrying diseases, but rather they acquire them during various feedings. One of the most commonly known diseases spread by ticks is Lyme Disease. Early symptoms of Lyme Disease could include fever, headache, fatigue, depression and a circular skin rash. In most cases when treated early enough, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics. Left untreated, future symptoms may include more serious issues including the joints, heart and central nervous system.
Some ticks can spend most of their life on a single animal, but many others hide within or near the nests or burrows of their hosts when they’re not actively blood feeding. People would rarely encounter these ticks, but sometimes their animal hosts bring the ticks into the home. In other situations, animals such as deer, raccoons, squirrels, voles, or mice may simply bring the tick or ticks into your yard where they will scratch at it causing it to fall off and await the next host which may by your pet or even you!