Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Ticks and Lice

liceTicks vs Lice

There are many small creatures around us which look similar but are of the entirely different species. Ticks and lice are two such creatures. In appearance, both look similar, but the differences are many.

Tick is actually the name given to the group of small arachnids which come under the Ixodoidea family. Some examples of organisms in the tick family are the American deer tick, sheep tick, and cattle tick. Lice are the insects which come under the wingless category and known to cause diseases in humans. Some common lice are Anoplura, Rhyncophthirina, Ischnocera, and Amblycera.

Ticks, when matured, have eight legs and can have different sizes depending on the species. Lice have six legs and develop their bodies to adapt to living with the host. They usually have stout legs and claws. These claws help them to cling to the hair or fur of the hosts. Both ticks and lice feed on the blood of the hosts and have body features adapted for this purpose.

Lice usually spend their full lives with the host. Most of them are born and die on the host body. Ticks are mostly found in between the tall grasses and shrubs. They quietly wait for their hosts. And when a suitable host passes by, they cling to the host with the help of the cutting mandibles. These serve the purpose of the hooks to get anchored to a surface.

Ticks mostly seek for a host when there are changes in the temperatures or durations of the days. When the body of the tick is full with the sucked blood, it drops off by self. The time for becoming full varies from hours to days. Lice do not leave the host body by self. They suck the required amount of blood and remain on the host body surface always.

Ticks are active in warm climates. When lice come in contact with a host body, they survive and thrive well on the host body, unless any unfavourable factors come up. Usually they do not like oils. So if the infected portion is rubbed with olive oil, the lice tend to leave the host.

The features of the ticks depend on the species and host. It can be white or black legged, may have dots, streaks, or other designs, and some even spread diseases. Lice have distinguishing features like short antennae, compound eyes, and mouth parts suitable for chewing and sucking blood from the host body.

To control ticks, you can use chemicals, pesticides, or some dusters. Lice in humans can be controlled by the use of lice combs, medicated shampoos, and oils. If your footwear has lice on it, microwaving it for a few seconds kill the lice.


1.Ticks are arachnids, lice are wingless insects.
2.Lice have six legs while mature ticks have eight legs.
3.The features of ticks depend on the species and host. Most lice have identical features.
4.Ticks live with the host till their bodies are full and fall off after that. Lice live with the host for the entire lives most often.

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