New Tick Species Comes to New Jersey
November 15, 2018
As if worrying about the dangers of ticks didn’t already keep us on edge, checking our pets and ourselves every time we’ve been outside, a new species of tick has been confirmed in New Jersey. The Asian tick, which is sometimes known as the longhorn tick because of the distinguishing ‘horns’ on its head, has been confirmed in 7 counties in New Jersey.
This tick is not a new species, in that it has long existed in East and Central Asia, but it was only identified in the United States in November of 2017. As this tick approaches it’s one-year anniversary of being “discovered” in New Jersey, it has established itself as a hearty, invasive species of tick.
The Asian tick can be identified by its dark brown color and horns on the head. However, the horns can often only be seen under a microscope, as the tick is small and the head even smaller. When fully engorged after a blood meal, Asian ticks can reach the size of a small pencil eraser.
The one bit of good news about the Asian tick is that, so far, none of this species of ticks found in the United States have tested positive for carrying any pathogens. This doesn’t mean that the tick is harmless, though. These ticks are an invasive species and tend to stick together in large numbers. The female does not need a male to reproduce and can lay upwards of a couple thousand eggs at once, which means they can multiply very quickly. When Asian tick infests livestock, the result is often an anemic animal. While this species prefers livestock, and was originally found on a heard of sheep, Asian ticks will also use birds, small mammals, pets like dogs and cats, and even humans as a host for a blood meal.
Some people think that these ticks may have been here in the United States for a while but are only being identified and discovered lately as more and more people send ticks to laboratories and testing centers in fear of Lyme disease. It is due to this public awareness and the action of sending in ticks for testing that has helped identify all the areas where these ticks have been confirmed.
With the ever-increasing threat of ticks and tick-borne illness, it’s a great time to explore Arrow Pest Control’s mosquito and tick-reducing program for your New Jersey property. We will inspect your property to determine where mosquitoes and ticks might be breeding. Then we will apply treatment to the most problematic areas, including brush and landscaping. We target your home during the most active season, from May through September, providing you with one treatment per month. Our professionals at Arrow Pest Control will also give you recommendations for your property and may suggest talking with your vet about tick treatments for your pests.