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Host finding of the pigeon tick Argas reflexus

Boxler, B. and Odermatt, P. and Haag-Wackernagel, D.. (2016) Host finding of the pigeon tick Argas reflexus. Medical and veterinary entomology, 30 (2). pp. 193-199.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/43240/

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Abstract

The medically and veterinary important feral pigeon tick Argas reflexus (Ixodida: Argasidae) Fabricius usually feeds on pigeons, but if its natural hosts are not available, it also enters dwellings to bite humans that can possibly react with severe allergic reactions. Argas reflexus is ecologically extremely successful as a result of some outstanding morphological, physiological, and ethological features. Yet, it is still unknown how the pigeon tick finds its hosts. Here, different host stimuli such as living nestlings as well as begging calls, body heat, smell, host breath and tick faeces, were tested under controlled laboratory conditions. Of all stimuli tested, only heat played a role in host-finding. The heat stimulus was then tested under natural conditions within a pigeon loft. The results showed that A. reflexus is able to find a host over short distances of only a few centimetres. Furthermore, it finds its host by random movements and recognizes a host only right before direct contact is made. The findings are useful for the control of A. reflexus in infested apartments, both to diagnose an infestation and to perform a success monitoring after disinfestation.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Eco System Health Sciences > Helminths and Health (Odermatt)
UniBasel Contributors:Odermatt, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Publisher:Blackwell
ISSN:0269-283X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Jun 2016 11:04
Deposited On:28 Jun 2016 07:59

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