New tick species found in NY, seven other states


A new tick is causing concern in New York State.

It’s known as the Asian Longhorned Tick. Currently, it’s been found in eight states, including New York in three places downstate. The new species is light brown in color and can be as small as a poppy seed or as large as an apple seed.

It hails from Eastern Asia where it has transmitted serious diseases to livestock, wild animals and people. So far, it has not affected people in the U.S.

“There’s no indication that this particular tick is a problem to humans in the United States,” Bryon Backenson of the New York State Department of Health said.

Backenson said more research needs to be conducted.

“We have to learn what it feeds on,” he said. “We have to learn what it can potentially carry.”

But what could be problematic is that the Asian Longhorned Tick does not need a male to reproduce.

“The female doesn’t need a male to lay 2,000 or 3,000 eggs, and then all of a sudden, you can get a lot of small ticks,” Backenson explained.

While that’s concerning, Backenson recommends taking precautions just as you would for any other tick.

“It’s not something to panic about,” he said.

To protect yourself and your family from ticks, wear long shirts and pants, use a repellant with DEET, mow the lawn frequently, try to walk in the center of hiking trails, and shower within two hours of returning indoors.

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