Ticks are small, typically 3 to 5 mm long, external parasites, living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are widely distributed around the world, especially in warm, humid climates. Adults have ovoid or pear-shaped bodies which become engorged with blood when they feed and eight legs. As well as having a hard shield on their dorsal surfaces, hard ticks have a beak-like structure at the front containing the mouthparts whereas soft ticks have their mouthparts on the underside of the body. The potential host by odour or from changes in the environment.
Ticks have four stages to their lifecycle, namely egg, larva, nymph, and adult. taking at least a year to complete their lifecycle. Because of their habit of ingesting blood, ticks are vectors of at least twelve diseases that affect humans and other animals.