The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report on a rare tick species that has been confirmed in seven New Jersey counties. The exotic tick species is native to eastern Asia and is commonly known as the Asian longhorned tick. The report says that while there is no current evidence that the tick has transmitted pathogens to animals or humans in the United States, it can be a potential carrier of a number of diseases.
Here are some more facts about this emerging threat in our area:
- In our area, the first Asian longhorned tick was discovered on a dog at a home in Somerset County in September.
- Other findings have been confirmed in Bergen, Hunterdon, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, and Monmouth counties.
- The first Asian longhorned tick discovered in the United States was in 2010 in West Virginia found on a deer. Then another was found in 2013 in New Jersey found on a dog. And yet another in New Jersey in August 2017, found on a sheep.
- The CDC says the Asian longhorned tick has been identified in eight other states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, and Arkansas.
- Female Asian longhorned ticks are able to produce offspring without mating, resulting in substantial infestation of its hosts.
What are the health concerns?
- In other areas of the world, the Asian longhorned tick has caused serious problems for humans and livestock as it bites can cause serious illness.
- In Asia, it has caused human hemorrhagic fever and reduction of production in dairy cattle by 25%. Human hemorrhagic fever is a newfound virus that kills up to 30% of its victims. Seventeen people died of human hemorrhagic fever in 2013 in Korea, according to the CDC.
- In the United States, “We really don’t know if diseases will be spread by this tick […] and, if so, to what extent. But it’s very important that we figure this out quickly.” Said Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, according to a Washington Post report.
- Officials have been advising residents to take precautions.
What can you do to take precaution?
- You can reduce your exposure to ticks by using the following tips:
- Keep grass mowed and trees trimmed.
- Move wood piles away from the home.
- Keep pets out of thickly wooded areas where tick activity is high.
- Move swing sets, sandboxes and other play areas away from wooded areas.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when walking in wooded or grassy areas to avoid tick bites.
- Wash clothing immediately after coming inside and inspect your family and pets for ticks.
- Use a professional outdoor pest control service to protect your yard from ticks.
Let Mosquito Joe of Robbinsville-Jackson spray your yard and set up a barrier for these intruders. Since our barrier sprays target shrubbery, we already zone in on where ticks live and wait for a host. Don’t let that host be you, your family, friends or pets! Call us today for a free quote: 732-228-8092.