Types Of Ticks In New Jersey
There’s an arachnid on the move in backyards across New Jersey. It’s not the common house spider or even the black widow (although this venomous spider is found in the garden state). No, we’re talking about the small yet threatening tick. And really, when we say tick, we mean ticks; there are a few different types of ticks in New Jersey.
Blacklegged Ticks AKA Deer Ticks
More often referred to as deer ticks in New Jersey, this tick is prevalent across the Northeast and its name is almost synonymous with Lyme disease. It’s easy to understand why when you look at this map on the CDC’s website; you can’t even find New Jersey because it is covered with blue dots that represent cases of Lyme. What’s more, the Lyme disease data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention shows that New Jersey had more confirmed cases of Lyme disease than any other state including Pennsylvania and New York in 2021.
To reduce your exposure to deer ticks, stay away from tall grasses, bushes, and dense overgrowth. These pests are also often found near fences and along retaining walls. Deer ticks prefer shady, moist areas but can be picked up on manicured lawns so use caution when you’re hanging out in your backyard.
American Dog Ticks
American dog ticks or wood ticks are another common tick in Essex County and counties throughout New Jersey. Like deer ticks, they pose a threat to our health. The American dog tick is the primary vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia. Fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and rashes are just a few of the symptoms associated with this tick-borne disease. The rash, different than the notorious bulls eye rash associated with Lyme, often presents as red splotches and dots on ankles and wrists and then spreads. The image above is the RMSF rash after victim has received treatment.
Tularemia and tick paralysis are also associated with American dog ticks.
American dog ticks are often found in grasses, bushes, and on plants as well as lurking along the sides of road, hiking trails, and paths.
Since this tick prefers to bite dogs, homes with pets should exercise caution. Frequent tick checks of Fido could help avoid bites from this tick.
Brown Dog Ticks
Brown dog ticks can spread several tick-borne illnesses to your four-legged family members, including RMSP, canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesia.
Where American dog ticks do not thrive indoors, the brown dog tick does and can complete a life cycle inside. This tick is a common problem in kennels because they like warm, dry accommodations and prefer dogs as hosts.
Lone Star Ticks
As their name would suggest, lone star ticks are common in the south but in recent years they have become more prevalent in the eastern part of the country, including New Jersey.
Considered very aggressive ticks that bite humans, infected lone star ticks transmit human ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) among others. While scientists have been studying the connection between lone star tick bites and the allergic reaction caused by consumption of red meat, in July of 2023, the CDC issued a press release linking lone star ticks to Alpha-gal Syndrome. View article, Lone Star Tick Bites To Blame For Meat Allergy, for more information.
Lone star ticks are often found in tall grass, overgrown vegetation, wooded areas, and like other ticks, along paths, trails, and roads.
Bats in New Jersey may be carrying bat ticks
Larvae collected from big brown bats in Mercer and Sussex counties confirm the presence of bat ticks in New Jersey. While known to be in 29 of the 48 contiguous states, according to a Rutgers-led study in the Journal of Medical Entomology, this species has recently been found in the Garden State and may pose a threat to people, pets, and even livestock.
What are bat ticks?
Bat ticks (Carios kelleyi) are a “soft” tick species evidenced by bodies that look leathery and soft. The more common types of ticks in New Jersey, such as the deer tick, are “hard” ticks. Bat ticks are small, irregular in shape and range in color from light to dark brown.
Where are bat ticks typically found?
These ticks are found in areas where bats roost, including attics and belfries.
Are bat ticks dangerous?
Lead author of the above-mentioned study, James L. Occi stated, “We need to be aware that if you remove bats from your belfry, attic, or elsewhere indoors, ticks that fed on those bats may stay behind and come looking for a new source of blood. There are records of C. kelleyi biting humans.”
Further research and tick collection is necessary to determine if they are carrying disease-causing microbes.
What can you do to prevent bat ticks from infesting your structure?
The best way to prevent bat ticks is to bat proof your home. If their host cannot get it, neither can they.
Tick treatments significantly reduce tick bites
If, after reading this blog, you’ve decided to never step foot in your backyard we have good news! At Arrow Pest Control, we offer effective and affordable monthly tick treatments in Montclair, Freehold, Manalapan, and communities throughout New Jersey.
When you sign up for our Bite Back! Program, we’ll perform a granular tick treatment in April and then return every month May through September to treat areas where these biting pests lurk. Before the cold weather hits and to take one more stand against ticks, we’ll return in October for another granular service.
Bonus- our Bite Back Program! targets mosquitoes too
That’s right, when you partner with Arrow to reduce tick activity on your property, we’ll treat mosquito resting and breeding areas too when we spray May through September.
We’re still operating during the COVID-19 pandemic
Locally owned and operated, Arrow Pest Control is considered an essential business in New Jersey and we continue to operate albeit with some adjustments. For the most part, we are performing exterior services only. Our tick and mosquito control services do not require us to come indoors as treatments are focused outside. Protecting people and property for over 45 years, we are here to help our neighbors even as we wait for this health crisis to end.
Sign up for tick & mosquito services today!
If spending time in your backyard, by your pool, or even on your deck without worrying about ticks and mosquitoes sounds good, contact Arrow Pest Control today!
This article was originally published in April 2020, but has been updated to include the most recent information regarding ticks in New Jersey.
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