Pigeons on the roof, their presence can give us something deadly

Let’s see how pigeons could transmit Argas reflexus, a small parasite also known as the pigeon tick. All the details.

In winter, as in summer, pigeons are always present in our cities. They are placed on balconies, ledges, and roofs and can be annoying and create dirt due to their droppings.

As the Istituto Superiore di Sanità reminded us, we must be careful of birds on roofs and balconies because they risk transmitting a small mite of the Argasidae family.

This is Argas reflexus, also known as the pigeon tick. They are called soft ticks due to the absence of a dorsal chitinous shield at all stages of their development. This parasite is of particular interest to pigeons, but it can also sometimes attack humans. For humans, health interest is growing.

Pigeon ticks, as these parasites, can be dangerous.

This parasite can be spread by pigeons. Indeed, this species of the Argasidae family attaches itself to the nests or feathers of these birds and can be a vector of pathogens.

This parasite sucks the blood of these birds, transmitting a bacterial disease to them that causes a recurring fever.

In humans, it can cause erythema and, in the most serious cases, the risk of anaphylaxis, when the pigeon tick bites the blood, is due in particular to the insertion of toxins into the blood of the host.

This mite can survive up to temperatures of forty-five degrees. An adult specimen can be four millimeters long and dark, gray, or brown in color.

It can usually be found in elevated places such as attics and lofts, placed next to where the pigeons roost.

These parasites in the adult or nymph state can blend into a meal of barely twenty minutes. Instead, they can remain attached to their prey for days in the larval state.


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