What are ticks?

Ticks belong to the arachnid family and are classified as mites. The adult tick has eight legs – as do all spiders. Ticks are parasites, i.e. to survive, they need another organism – a so-called host.1

The most common tick in Austria is the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus). Also known as the castor bean tick, it accounts for around 95 percent of the ticks found in this part of the world. Ticks like temperatures between 10° - 20°C and damp weather. If it is too hot, too cold or too dry, they shelter on the earth. They thrive if there is vegetation on the ground and it is covered with a layer of dead material.1

Detailansicht einer Zecke
Kind sucht mit Lupe nach Zecke

Where are ticks found?1

Many people still believe ticks live deep in the forest and drop from the trees. But ticks in fact move about on the ground, in high grass or in undergrowth and bushes. It is there they find the hosts they prefer: small and large mammals like mice, hedgehogs and deer or even birds. They are brushed off grasses and shrubs by both people and their pets, so bringing them into the home.

These unpleasant creepy-crawlies like a warm, damp environment, and you aren’t safe from them in your own garden or in playgrounds either. Ticks lie in wait on stalks of grass and latch onto anything going past – whether it’s a cat, dog, mouse, hedgehog, deer or person.

  1. www.ages.at/en/human/disease/ticks-diseases-info. Last accessed on 16.01.2024

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