Ticks are tiny bugs which feed on blood. Ticks belong to a group of animals known as arachnids, which also includes spiders, mites and scorpions. Different ticks prefer different types of animals. Sometimes, a tick will bite a person instead of biting an animal. While most tick bites do not result in disease, some do. Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas. They are easiest to spot on a person when they are actually sucking blood. Ticks burrow part way into the skin, bite, draw blood, and then drop off. The feeding tick's mouth will be under the skin, but the back parts will be sticking out. They will be full of blood and blue-grey in colour. This is called an engorged tick.
Tick bites usually cause irritation of the skin and swelling only. However, if some of the tick's mouth-parts remain in the skin, the wound usually becomes infected. Occasionally, an infection may become severe enough that it may lead to blood poisoning. Tick bites on humans usually occur one at a time. Livestock and wild animals, however, may be infested with many ticks at once. Feeding by large numbers of ticks can lead to anaemia, unthriftiness or emaciation.
|Female and male tick on the bottom of the jar. - LINK|
|Cottontail with engorged ticks. Photo by Daveynin on Flickr|
|Ticks surround the eye of a doe. Photo by Swampier on Flickr|
|Puffin covered in ticks - LINK|
|Closeup view of ctenosaur(black iguana) tail covered with ticks, Costa Rica. Photo credit: Dan L. Perlman|
|Tick infested ear of a dog - LINK|
|Everglades rat Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni had apparently already acquired a cluster of tiny ticks on a neck injury - LINK|
|Tick infested anaconda - LINK|