Small and float of sac-like. There are both soft and hard ticks. Colors vary from red shades, brown and black with patterns of white or lighter colors. When engorged, color can change to gray-blue or olive.
Cannot run, hop, fly or move quickly. They climb onto an object (tall grass or weeds, fences or sides of buildings) to wait for a host to pass by. Adults are most often found on the host's ears, neck and between toes. Larvae and nymphs are commonly found on the long hair on the back of the dog.
Blood. Hosts include reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds. Some can go years without feeding.
As many as 10,000 eggs are laid in cracks and crevices of roofs of kennels or ceiling of porches. Eggs hatch weeks to months later.
Carrier and transmitter of many diseases.