Ixodes ricinus is an indigenous hard tick species having a wide geographical distribution from Portugal to Russia and from North Africa to Scandinavia. This wide geographical distribution entails that this tick species can survive under various environmental conditions. High humidity is a requirement for tick survival: it only survives where the relative humidity of micro-environment is higher than 80%. Ixodes ricinus is therefore primarily observed across Europe in deciduous woodland and mixed forest, but can be found in a range of habitats that support its blood hosts and a moist microclimate.
Ixodes ricinus is a three-host tick: larvae, nymphs and adults feed on different hosts where larvae and nymphs prefers small to medium-sized animals and adults tend to feed on large-sized animals. This tick species feeds on a broad range of mammals, birds and reptiles and frequently bites humans.
Ixodes ricinus is known as vector of Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis and a number of rickettsiosis.