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Life cycle
Ticks have four stages in their lives, namely:

1) egg

 A ticks life starts as a very small egg.

 deer tick eggs

2) larval (infant)

A larval (plural: larvae) only has six legs instead of eight (like a nymph or adult) and normally does not carry diseases yet but it may pick up diseases from its first host (white mice or other mammals) on which they feed for about four days. Those larve's feed on animals like a mice, squirrels , deers, ,dogs and even humans.

After their first feeding, they shed their skin to become a nymph.

3)  nymph (immature)

Nymphs already have eight legs and can pass on diseases (if they got infected as a larval during their first feeding).

A nymph feeds from a mammal. It is its second meal and will last about six days.

If the nymph was not yet infected with a disease, it can now get one from the second host.

This nymph will then shed its skin one last time and become an adult.

4) adult (mature) 

Females look different from males because they are larger.

Adults feed and mate on large animals during the fall or spring. Afterwards, the female lays her eggs and dies.

 

The average life length of a tick is 1 year.