An ectoparasite is a parasite that lives on the surface
of the body (e.g., hair, eyelashes, skin) but not inside
the body. Endoparasites are parasites that live inside
the body. A parasite is any organism that lives in or on
another living being, gains an advantage by doing so,
but causes disadvantage to the being it is living on.
Ectoparasites gain nourishment from the skin of the
organism that they live on or by sucking out the blood.
A tick is a type of ectoparasite.
Examples of ectoparasites are ticks, fleas, mites, lice, leeches, some types of worms,
and various types of fungus.
Ectoparasites can be present on human and non-human animals. In animals, they are
commonly prevented by the application of medicinal lotions. In humans and non-humans,
they can be treated and removed manually but the most common treatment is the
application of medical lotions to kill the ectoparasites.
Some parasites live partly inside the body and partly outside the body. These are known
as mesoparasites. An infestation with ectoparasites is known as ectoparasitosis. An
ectoparasite is also known as an external parasite.
Ectoparasite comes from the Greek word "ektos" meaning "outside," and the Greek word
"parasitos" meaning "guest." Put the words together and you have "outside guest."