Types of Soft Ticks

Over 100 soft tick species are known to exist in the world. Unlike hard ticks, soft ticks do not possess a shield-like scutum. Rather, they are named for their soft, leathery exoskeletons. The mouthparts of the soft tick are located on the underside of the body and are not readily visible when viewed from above. Of the various soft ticks, the common fowl tick and the relapsing fever tick are two of the most common pest soft ticks in the U.S.

As is suggested by its name, the common fowl tick infests poultry houses. Also known as the chicken tick or blue bug, common fowl ticks are not only harmful to poultry, but they also may also prove dangerous to humans.

The relapsing fever tick is known to transmit relapsing fever. These ticks prefer to feed on small rodents, but will choose human hosts if the opportunity presents itself. Relapsing fever ticks remain infected for life, and they pass the bacteria to their offspring.

The development stages of soft ticks tend to last much longer than those of the hard tick.