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Family Argasidae (Soft Ticks)

Ornithodorus coriaceus (the Pajahuello tick [paja = straw colored, huello = treading])

Various Stages of the Pajahuello Tick

Associated with coastal and sierra foothill habitats from San Diego to Humboldt county. Found in and around resting places of their large mammalian hosts (primarily deer and cattle). However, this tick will readily take blood from almost any warm blooded mammal in the laboratory (Furman and Loomis 1984).

Humans may accidentally encounter this tick when they come in contact with host bedding sites, especially during activities such as hunting and camping. For humans, the bite of this tick is notoriously painful, resulting in a localized inflammatory response due to a toxic substance introduced into the bite site during feeding.

Human Reaction to Pajahuello Tick Bite


Otobius megnini (the spinose ear tick)

The Spinose Ear Tick

An important pest of livestock and horses throughout the western United States. In California, this tick is frequently found in the warm, dry regions of the central valley down to the southern portion of the state. Rarely, these ticks have been found on humans, dogs, cats, and sheep. Heavy infestations with this tick can result in intense irritation, rubbing, and hair loss in livestock (Furman and Loomis 1984).

 
 

Argas sanchezi and Argas persicus (poultry ticks)

A Poultry Tick

These ticks are common pests of chickens and turkeys, but generally do not cause serious problems except for small flocks on farms which provide wooden housing that encourages tick establishment. Eggs are laid in crevices in the wood. All stages of these ticks remain around the roosting area of poultry, hiding in crevices during the day and generally feeding at night. Ticks can survive in empty poultry housing for years. Argas sanchezi is a common tick of chickens, turkeys, and wild birds in California and other western states. In California it is primarily found in central valley dry climates from Shasta down to Kern county, as well as the dry coastal and inland southern California regions. Argas persicus infests chickens mostly in the eastern U.S., and only rarely has been collected in California in Nevada county (Furman and Loomis 1984).