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Tick Ticks

Tick - Photo  Copyright 2005 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

Latin name:  Acari

Size: 2.5mm to over 3cm depending on the species

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Months seen: April to October.

Food: Females feed on bird and mammal blood. The adult males do not feed.

Habitat: Grassland, leaf litter and animal hosts.

Special features: There are more than 20 tick species in the UK, the most common being the sheep tick.  As well as being found on sheep it can also live on most birds and mammals.  Ticks belong to the order of animals called Acari, a subclass of Arachnida.

Ticks are small and globular, with a leathery greyish-white body.  The adults have 8 articulated legs, and a non-segmented body.  They are external parasites, which suck the blood of animals.  The amount of blood a tick drinks can be 200 times its body weight.

Ticks carry diseases, including 'lyme disease' (see below). You should avoid handling them with uncovered fingers. Where possible, to avoid picking up any ticks, wear long sleeved shirts, shoes and long trousers tucked into your socks. The use of tick repellents on the outside of clothing can also help.

Track Down More Info

What's Lyme Disease?
How to Safely Remove a Tick
The Life Cycle of the Tick
UK Safari Creepy-Crawlies Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved