A Tick is a small arachnids (belonging to the same class as spiders) that hang
on to the end of tall grass or the end of the branch of a shrub or tree where it
will wait until an animal such a deer or human happens by. It will then drop onto
its host and embed its mouthparts into the host's skin and suck its blood.
Tick - highly magnified
If you find a tick embedded in your skin, take hold of it with a tweezers as near
the skin as possible and remove it without excess squeezing. Then wash the bite site
with antiseptic. Watch for signs of disease like fever, flu-like symptoms, or a circular
skin rash at the bite site.
To avoid ticks apply a repellent containing 20 percent or higher DEET to your face,
neck, and ears. Apply the repellent by hand to avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth.
Wear light-colored clothing so you can see any tick crawling on you before it makes
its way to your skin. Wear long pants and tuck your pant legs into your socks, and
keep your shirt tucked into your waistband.
Tick - size compared to match head
Ticks hang on to high vegetation, waiting to drop on a passing host. Stay on designated
trails, and avoid making your own through high vegetation areas. After you've hiked
through a possible tick infested area, do a tick check. Strip down and search in your
hair, under your arms, between your legs, behind the knees, and even in your belly button.
Wash and dry your cloths immediately after returning from a hike.
Ticks have three life stages. Larvae which emerge from eggs have six legs.
Larval ticks feed in the late summer. After obtaining blood from a host they
molt into the nymph stage and acquire eight legs.
Nymphs are active during the summer months, feed on blood, and molt into adults,
which also have eight legs. Adult ticks are active during the spring and fall. After
feeding once more, the adult female tick lays one batch of thousands of eggs and then dies.