There are 889 types of ticks recorded in the world, which can be separated into three families:
Nuttalliellidae (a genus and species of tick on its own, found in Southern Africa)
There are 702 Ixodid, 186 Argasid and 1 Nuttalliella types of tick.
The types of ticks which are more familiar are the Deer (Black-legged), American dog, Brown dog, Lone star, Rocky Mountain Wood, Paralysis, Hedgehog and Cattle tick, and these are associated with the more common tick-borne diseases in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia (such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis/HE, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever/Tick typhus, Tick borne relapsing fever and Tick Paralysis).
All types of ticks are from the order Arachnida (like scorpions and spiders); they have eight legs as adults (four pairs), no wings, no antennae and range in size and color. They are small parasites that feed on the blood of a host and their potential hosts include a whole variety of animals. Different types of birds, rodents, lizards, snakes, dogs, cats, deer, foxes, cattle (the list goes on) and also humans are all hot blooded meals for a tick.
Most types of ticks are normally found in woodland, forest, meadows, farms and other areas of tall grass where the habitat supports their survival. To grow and reproduce, they must feed on a blood meal - so if there are plenty of wild animals to support them in their objective, tick populations can thrive. The parasites have four stages to their lifecycle (egg, larvae, nymph and adult) and the female adults are able to lay thousands of eggs after feeding and mating.
If you or your pet has been bitten by a tick and you are trying to find out which type it is, you could visit our pictures of ticks page to see if its there. The most important thing is you should carefully remove any parasite you find on you and your pets. Prepare for tick season by cleaning the yard and home and using strong repellents to keep them away. For more information on this, navigate back to our homepage.
The Many Types of Ticks
See our Tick Pictures and identify the different species
Read our dedicated articles on the cat, deer and dog tick
Learn about the various parasites that look similar
Understand where you will find these tiny pests and how they can be avoided or repelled
No matter what specie of tic, if you have been bitten seek medical advice and ensure it is removed correctly if still embedded in the skin