Life cycle

High season for castor bean tick in June

Fig. 66. Ticks are active in the months with temperatures above 7 0 C during daytime.

When the blood-filled female tick has let herself fall, she can lay eggs a few days later. About 2,000 eggs are laid. A reasonable number considering the poor chance of finding hosts. From the eggs, tiny, six-legged larvae hatch, and they are very hungry. They sit on blades of grass or the like. Here, they can sit for days, waiting for an animal (or human) to pass by. If this happens, they quickly climb onto the host.

They crawl around on the host until they have found a suitable thin-skinned place to bite. 5-6 days later, they are full and let themselves fall to the ground. Here they hide, digest and molt. The next stage, the nymphal stage, has eight legs and is so big that you can clearly see that it is a tick. It finds a host, sucks blood and hides in vegetation. The last stage is adult males and females. They mate, suck blood and the female lays eggs. They overwinter under moss and other undergrowth. The life cycle takes up to 1/2 years. Sucking ticks are almost exclusively found during spring and autumn.