Tick IdentificationSoft tick approximately 4.5mm long. The mouthparts are ventrally located and are covered by the front margin of the body so they are not visible from above. Bodies lack a scutum (a hard thickened plate) and the skin appears wrinkled and leather–like.
DescriptionThe pigeon ticks feed at night and hide by day. They are commonly found in attics and rooms adjacent to areas where pigeons roost. Heavy infestations of these ticks can cause the death of the host pigeon. The females feed at intervals, increasing their body weight by up to three times, then laying globular, dark brown shiny eggs in batches of 20 – 50. The larvae feed on the hosts for six to eleven days although the nymphs and adults only feed for up to 12 hours. Pigeons are the principal host but other bird species may also be fed upon. Humans may also be bitten.