15% of UK dogs are infested with ticks at any one time, according to a recent study. Ticks are most prevalent in rural areas, favouring moist undergrowth and long grasses. They lie in vegetation and attach to your dog or cat as they brush past. The most common species of tick found in the UK is Ixodes ricinus. Ixodes ricinus has 4 life stages, and requires a blood meal before moulting to the next lifestage (egg, larvae, nymph and adult). It has a 3 host lifecycle as shown in the diagram. Your pet can be unlucky enough to be a generous host, providing a blood meal, for any three of these stages!