Ticks are arachnids. Adults have eight legs, whereas young ticks have six legs. Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that are often found in tall grass and shrubs where they will wait to attach to a passing host. Physical contact is the only method of transportation for ticks. They do not jump or fly, although they may drop from their perch and fall onto a host. Ticks are more active outdoors in warm weather, but can attack a host at any time. Ticks are especially abundant near water, where warm-blooded animals come to drink.
Besides the threat of diseases introduced to humans by mosquitoes, the tick and its array of problems is a close second. Ticks generally are not born with disease agents but rather acquire them during various feedings. Lyme disease is the most commonly known disease spread by ticks. Early symptoms of Lyme disease may include fever, headache, fatigue, depression and a characteristic circular skin rash. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system.
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