Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Ixodes hexagonus

Synonym(s): hedgehog tick

Contributor(s): David Scarff




  • Class: Arachnida.
  • Family: Ixodidae.
  • Genus: Ixodes.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



Habitat on the host
  • Will attach anywhere on the body of its preferred, smaller hosts, eg hedgehogs, stoats and weasels.
  • On larger domestic hosts, eg cats, dogs, man, female I. ricinus attach primarily to the ears, jaws, axilla and inguinal regions. 
Habitat off the host
  • Found in association with hedgehogs and their nests in hedgerows in gardens, etc but also will be found in association with stoats and weasels.


  • Eggs.
  • Larva.
  • Nymph.
  • Adult.
  • Larvae and nymphs feed preferentially on hedgehogs, etc. Nymphs are the most likely to drop off near the entrance or outside the nest so dogs and cats become infected with adults and not the earlier stages.


  • Dogs and cats become infected from nests in hedges and brush in gardens, parks, etc.
  • Adult females may be found on dogs from February onwards.

Pathological effects

Other Host Effects

  • See Ixodes ricinus Ixodes ricinus.
  • The ticks feed for 7-8 days but females do not engorge to as great a weight as do I. ricinus females.


Control via animal

  • Usually found on dogs only singly or in small numbers.
  • The long mouthparts of penetrate well into the dermis and so make it difficult to remove.
  • Remove the tick(s) manually being careful to remove the mouthparts by grasping the tick very close to or preferably by the mouthparts the mouthparts with forceps and rock it back and forth gently while extracting. Various reagents, including acaricides have been sprayed or dabbed onto ticks to relax then and aid removal. There is no real evidence that these are effective within the short time required. Chloroform is likely to be the most rapidly acting.
  • The tick should be examined microscopically to ensure removal of the mouthparts as otherwise the lesion will be larger. Also, Borrelia burgdorferi spirochaetes have been found in I. hexagonus increasing the importance of removing the mouthparts.

Control via chemotherapies

  • None required.

Control via environment

  • Knowledge as to the source of the tick.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers