The european pigeon tick

Pigeon mite

Pigeon mite

The European pigeon tick, Argas Reflexus, is a large, grayish mite. The female can be more than 1 cm long and more than 1/2 inch wide.

The small stages, the larvae are less than l mm long. All stages are blood-sucking and feed on pigeons. In a pigeon house the European pigeon tick is a nuisance. If the pigeon house is highly infested, the pigeons can be weakened and die from anaemia.

In Denmark, the European pigeon tick has been known for some time, but it is not very common. European pigeon ticks live near the nests of domesticated pigeons, and they can reproduce heavily in old pigeon houses. During the long periods between meals, they stay in cracks and crevices – no more than a few yards from the nests – where they digest and molt.