Tick Life Cycles

You probably have a clear idea of what happens to a person or an animal if it doesn't get food -- it starves to death. Ticks can also starve to death, but often the process takes months or even years. However, without food, ticks can't do much. Ticks are a clear illustration of how food works as an energy source. Ticks need energy from blood in order to grow, develop and lay eggs. Without blood, ticks can't do any of this.

A tick begins its life as an egg. When the egg hatches, a six-legged larva emerges. Aside from its missing set of legs, the larva looks a lot like an adult tick. Its first host is usually a small mammal or a lizard, and it has to find a host in order to grow. After feeding, the larva drops to the ground to digest its food and begin to grow. After one to three weeks, the larva molts and becomes a nymph.

Tick Life Cycle

 

Two-Year Life Cycle of a Tick (Poster)

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