The lowly tick is a subclass of parasitic arachnid, so small it is difficult to detect straight away. Their Haller’s organ is a unique complex sensory structure that smells out humidity, carbon dioxide and temperature, to identify suitable hosts in order to survive.

They can even detect infrared, light that feels warm but cannot be seen, enhancing their ability to survive in complete darkness. This peculiar combination ensures it is invisible to its host and, true to the original Greek definition of parasitos, remains: eating at another’s table...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now