Is There a New Species of Tick We Need to Worry About?
A species of tick, which is normally native to East Asia, has been found in New Jesery after a farmer was covered in "thousands" of them.
It's already tick season here on the Southcoast. Most tick-related illnesses and bites occur within 100 yards of your home which is especially concerning if we are now looking out for a "foreign" species otherwise not normally found in the U.S.
Last year, a farmer in New Jersey found herself covered in thousands of ticks after shearing one of her sheep. The sheep were also covered in the ticks, as well as their paddock. However, these weren't your "normal" ticks. Instead, they were Longhorned ticks which are native to countries like China, Japan and Korea.
The Longhorned ticks are very, very small and resemble small spiders. Which means you could miss them in a tick check or on your clothing. They generally host on mammals, like deer, so there are several species of animals here in the U.S. they could infect. And much like Deer ticks, the Longhorned tick can spread a deadly virus called SFTS. SFTS can cause symptoms like Lyme Disease does - fever, fatigue, chills, muscle weakness, swollen lymph nodes, and in severe cases, death.
The ticks the farmer found in N.J. did test negative for certain "local" pathogens and diseases and there is a chance that they could be contained to a certain premises. There have been more Longhorned ticks found in the area this year, though. Given the severity of tick-related illnesses, it's always good to know the full spectrum of what you may need to be looking for this summer.