Ticks are external blood-sucking parasites that host on humans, dogs, cats, rats and other animals. They are often brought into homes by infested pet dogs and cats, or by rats. Ticks usually bite humans around the ankles and lower legs. The bite wound can develop into skin inflammation. Ticks are also carriers of human diseases, the most significant of which is the deadly plague, as well as murine typhus.
Ticks are external parasites of animals and humans. They are not insects, rather, they come under the same grouping as spiders and other 8-legged creatures. These blood-suckers are mostly encountered outdoors.
Tick bites are itchy and irritating. Mainly found on and transported by domestic animals, they can bite and transmit diseases to both pets and humans. The dog tick is most likely to be encountered at home. While it seldom attacks humans, it reduces the dog’s vitality and causes the pet to be irritable. The male tick is about 3mm long and reddish brown in colour. The female looks the same, but can grow to 12mm in length. The female dog tick engorges itself by feeding on the dog’s blood. It then leaves the dog and finds a crack or crevice to lay some 1,000 – 3,000 eggs which hatch in about 2 – 8 weeks. Adult dog ticks are usually found around the ears and neck, or between the dog’s toes. They are also often found on walls, curtains and window sills.