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Ticks & Mites


(1) Most mites and ticks are very small, mites being microscopic and ticks measuring only 0.2 to 1 inch (5 to 25 millimeters) in length.

(2) The oval body of these arachnids consists of the fused head and thorax and the abdomen.

(3) The first two pairs of appendages are small and are used for feeding.

(4) Adult ticks and mites have four pairs of walking legs, but the larvae have only three pairs.

(5) Breathing occurs through tracheal tubes.

(6)The ticks are mostly bloodsucking parasites (organisms that feed on others) that attach themselves to the outer body of mammals, such as dogs, deer, and humans. In addition to injecting poison into the host while sucking blood, ticks can transmit other disease-causing organisms resulting in Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, relapsing fever, typhus, and Texas cattle fever.

(7) In order to lay eggs, a female tick must suck the host's blood until her body is filled; this feeding process is known as Engorgement and requires attachment to the host for several days, after which the engorged female may be three or more times her original size.

(8) The larval and nymphal stages likewise feed before they molt (shed their skin) and progress to the next stage of development.

(9) Ticks have specialized sense organs that enable them to locate a host more than 25 feet (about 7.5 meters) away.

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