Uniformly red-brown and 1/8 inch long, their body is flattened, with a tear drop like form. These 8 legged Acari increase their bodies up to 1/2 inch long as they engorge with blood while feeding, changing to a blue-gray color at the same time. Their bodies are divided into two primary sections: the anterior capitulum (or gnathosoma), which contains the head and mouthparts; and the posterior idiosoma which contains the legs, digestive tract, and reproductive organs.
Widely distributed around the world, they flourish more in countries with warm, humid climates which allows them to undergo metamorphosis, as low temperatures inhibit their capability to go from egg to larva. They can be found in areas where woods/fields meet lawn. Around tall brush/grass, climbing stone walls and woodpiles where mice and other small mammals live, under plants/leaves to prevent dehydration and of course, in our pets.
Tick Life Cycle
Their entire life cycle can be completed within two months and there usually are two to four generations per year. Adults can live unfed for up to 18 months. After feeding, the engorged female will drop off her host and find for the perfect location where to deposit 1,000 to 3,000 eggs. She will do this within cracks and cervices near the ceiling on kennels and indoors around wall hangings and the ceiling where she dies right after. After 19 to 60 days the eggs hatch and six -legged larvae will then move to a host to feed on. Once they had their meal, they will molt into eight-legged nymphs, which in turn will molt into adults.
When going for a walk or in contact with livestock try to wear light colored clothes as these make them easy to spot. Tuck your pants inside your socks or wear some tall boots. Infested houses and/or kennels should be cleaned thoroughly to eliminate as many ticks as possible. Vacuuming is very effective indoors. Pet beddings and resting areas should be given special attention. Infested pets should be treated by a veterinarian, groomer or the owner to eradicate them from your home as soon as possible.