Ticks are small insects - often up to 1 cm long. The most common tick species are red or dark brown in colour. Ticks are classified as soft or hard. The hard ticks reproduce with a much higher rate, and can change hosts frequently. Most ticks feed on blood from humans and other mammals. American dog ticks, deer ticks, and the Lone Star Ticks are among the most common tick species.
While most soft ticks infest dens and stables, hard ticks usually detect a potential host through carbon dioxide and warmth.
Ticks represent a serious public health risk - they carry Lyme disease and a number of other dangerous diseases.