(Tick) ixodoideos are a superfamily of mites, commonly known as ticks. They are blood-sucking ectoparasites (feed on blood) and are vectors of many infectious diseases such as typhus or Lyme disease. They are larger size mites.


There are two recognised families: fam Ixodidae and Fam Argasidae and a third in discussion: fam Nuttalliellidae.

  • Ixodidae.

Of the family Ixodidae tick are commonly known as hard ticks. They attack many mammals, including humans.

  • Argasidae

Ticks of the Argasidae family are commonly known as soft ticks. They parasitize mainly to birds.Biology

Life cycle of a tick.

Ticks are often found in the tall grass, where waiting at the end of a leaf to try to snag any animal that pass. A very common misconception is to think that the tick is able to jump from the plant to the guest, but the only method of transmission is direct contact. They may wait weeks or even months before they find a suitable host. When they are with one appropriate climb on (some are dropped from the high vegetation), and through their chelicerae, they pierce the skin and begin to draw blood; his body swells until such point that secretes a glue for sticking to the guest and keep eating to the fullest.


Tick bites

The tick is terminated releasing the animal when it fills up, but this may take several days. In her mouth, ticks have a structure that allows them to attach firmly to the place that you are sucking blood. The first thing that should be clarified is that the majority of tick bites are harmless, do not involve the transmission of pathogenic micro-organisms; In addition, although they inoculen germs, most of the times not manifested symptoms of the disease. That Yes, once detected the tick must be removed as soon as possible, without precipitation, but without neglecting to spend unnecessary time. Traditional methods such as the use of alcohol, oil, vaseline, oil, nail polish or other products, should be ruled out because they create a kind of film around the tick that prevents that they breathe, what seems to accelerate the regurgitation of blood. Neither should be cut, burn and especially not is to pull with your fingers crushing his body, because at this time the inoculation of infectious fluids may occur from the tick into the body of the host. The correct way to remove it is by using a pliers, close, possibly curved, with which hold the tick in your mouth area, closer to the skin of the host, avoiding crushing body. Then perform a slow and continuous traction (could take us almost a minute), progressive, without excessive force, never sharply, at right angles to the skin until its removal. Never twist the tick. If any part of the oral apparatus of the tick is on the inside of the skin, use the blade of a scalpel or needle to extract the remains; in any case if any foreign body it is normal that past few days were driven by our body.


Although the majority of tick bites are harmless, they can spread a disease recently identified as caused by Borrelia Lyme disease Borrelia. This disease causes arthritis, disorders of the heart and nervous like encephalitis or meningitis. The time of greatest risk for contracting this disease is at the end of spring and the beginning of the summer.


The symptoms by which this disease is identified are similar to common flu (fever, muscle pain, malaise, headache and fatigue), preceded of an "Erythema Chronicum migrans" (reddish rash or circular spot) as first sign of the disease.

The diagnosis is made through a demonstration of antibodies to the Borrelia burgdorferi. Treatment is usually tetracycline or penicillin; macrolides.

It is necessary to treat this disease at the earliest, since even 15% of patients undergoing immediate treatment suffer complications. Sometimes this disease is mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or multiple sclerosis.


Common false belief about ticks

It is clear that, while commonly in the media, and even many times in scientific fields such as medicine, it mentions them is mistakenly as «insects», ticks are not insects but Arachnids (spiders distant relatives). The more easily distinguish between insects and Arachnids is that, while the former have six legs (and many species are capable of flying), the last have eight and are unable to fly.


Diseases transmitted by ticks

  • Tularemia
  • Rickettsia
  • Mediterranean spotted fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Typhus
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Louping ill
  • Tick-borne meningoencephalitis
  • Canine Hepatozoonosis
  • Kyasanur disease
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Babesiosis
  • Bovine fever by ticks
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
  • Recurrent fever
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