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Soft Tick

Soft Ticks About 1/4-inch in length. sandy brown,reddish brown to dark brown.soft tick which have a tough, leathery, pitted skin and no distinguishable head.Soft ticks are generally nest inhabitants that are associated with rodents, birds, or bats. Several species of soft ticks attack humans and can transmit disease organisms.

Black-legged Tic

Soft Tick

Soft Ticks look very different from hard ticks. The hypostome of soft ticks does not project forward it is tucked underneath the abdomen and is not visible from above. Soft ticks do not have a scutum, nor do they have elaborate coloration patterns. Instead, the body is covered with bumps and folds

Ticks can be very challenging to identify. Color is sometimes helpful in distinguishing tick species but you can not rely on this in all situations. While there are differences in size between ticks, size is also not a reliable method as there is much overlap between species, especially when immature and adult ticks are encountered. Also remember that adult males are smaller compared to females.

Engorged ticks are particularly challenging to identify as their size and color are greatly altered. You can distinguish between females and males in the adult stage as females possess a relatively small scutum while this plate-like structure in males covers most of their body .

Life Cycle: Ticks have complex life cycles involving several blood meals with the same or different animal hosts and may include long periods of time when they are not on a host but living in the environment.Indeed, one of the characteristic features of ticks is that even though they are highly dependent on blood for food, they may survive away from a blood host for long periods. Some species of ticks can live for years away from a host.

Engorged Brown dog ticks

Soft Tick

Soft ticks are usually associated with nests, dens, burrows or roosts of their animal hosts. Soft ticks usually mate when they are not on a host.Hard ticks are generally not associated so closely with their hosts but instead are free-ranging and come into contact with animal hosts only for blood feeding.

Hard ticks usually mate when they are on a host, oftentimes while the female is blood feeding. Because soft ticks take small blood meals for a short feeding period, the female lays only a few hundred eggs during her lifetime, with eggs laid at intervals. Hard ticks take large blood meals and lay 6,000 or more eggs at one time.

The multihost life cycle is characteristic of nearly all of the species of soft ticks. Multihost life cycles take place in areas where host animals dwell, such as dens, burrows, nests and other shelters. In this life cycle, many nymphal molts occur and these nymphs are called intermediate stages. Larvae find a host in the shelter and feed.They detach from the host, stay in the shelter, digest the blood and molt to the first-stage nymph. The nymphs repeat the feeding and other activities of the larvae. Individual nymphs feed and molt several times before molting to the adult stage. Adults quest for and feed on a host in the same shelter as the nymphs and larvae. The adult ticks feed and may feed many times. The female ticks lay small batches of eggs after each blood feeding.

Management :The best management strategy is prevention of infestations in the house or kennel. Discuss tick control with your veterinarian; preventing engorgement of the ticks on dogs is critical to management of the tick and the well-being of the dog.Treatments with fipronil (in sprays and spot-ons), amitraz (often in flea and tick collars), permethrin (sprays and shampoos) and deltamethrin (shampoos) have been reported as effective. Regular treatment will minimize the chances of a dog picking up a tick and the tick successfully feeding.


Soft Tick Bite

Disease: Soft ticks can transmit disease much more quickly than hard ticks.Soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros transmit relapsing fever, caused by Borrelia hermsi, or a group of tick-adapted strains of the spirochete. Disease is characterized by cycles of high fever and is treated with antibiotics. Relapsing fever ticks are found in rodent burrows, nests, and caves through the western United States.



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