The pigeon tick prefers to feed on pigeons. When in lack of a more suitable host, the tick may feed on people and pets. It’s almost exclusively the adults and nymphs that bite people. A bite from the large pigeon tick can be quite the experience. The bite is clumsy and can be painful. From the bite wound, a wide, pink, slightly swollen area may appear. Later, color will turn red or reddish-blue. Both the color as well the swelling can stay on the skin for up to three weeks. If bitten several times, people can become unwell and experience nausea, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, headache, etc. These symptoms are caused by to certain toxins in pigeon tick saliva.
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