New Jersey is known as a high-risk area for diseases spread by ticks and mosquitos, such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and potentially the Zika virus. Fortunately, we can help you combat these pests with our tick and mosquito control services. Our products are safe for children and pets while remaining effective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released a report on an exotic tick species native to eastern Asia that has been confirmed several states, including New Jersey.
The new report says while there is no current evidence that the tick has transmitted pathogens to humans or animals in United States, it is a potential carrier of a number of diseases and is an "emerging" threat that must be dealt with.
"The presence of H. longicornis in the United States represents a new and emerging disease threat," the CDC writes. "Characterization of the tick's biology and ecology are needed, and surveillance efforts should include testing for potential indigenous and exotic pathogens."
Officials have been urging residents to take precautions after the presence of a rare, invasive tick was confirmed in New Jersey's seventh county this fall. The Asian longhorned tick, as it is commonly known, was discovered in Somerset County in September, spotted on a dog at a residence.
Earlier findings have been confirmed in Bergen, Hunterdon, Union, Middlesex, Mercer and Monmouth counties.
The tick was first discovered in the U.S. on a sheep in New Jersey in August 2017. Since then, the CDC says the tick has been identified in eight other states, including Pennsylvania.
In other parts of the world, the tick has caused serious problems for both humans and livestock. Its bites can make people and animals seriously ill. In Asia, is has caused human hemorrhagic fever and a reduction of production in dairy cattle by 25 percent.
The tick "is potentially capable of spreading a large number of diseases," Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, said in a Washington Post report. "We really don't know if diseases will be spread by this tick in the United States and, if so, to what extent. But it's very important that we figure this out quickly."
Human hemorrhagic fever is a newfound virus that kills up to 30 percent of its victims, according to the Washington Post. In South Korea, 17 people died of the virus in 2013, according to the CDC.
Female longhorned ticks are able to produce offspring without mating, resulting in massive host infestations.
Between August 2017 and September 2018, the tick also has been found in the following states: Pennsylvania; Virginia; West Virginia; New York; North Carolina; Connecticut; Maryland; and Arkansas. In total, there were 53 reports of the tick species being discovered, according to the CDC.
The CDC says that the invasion of the tick species in the United States occurred years before its 2017 discovery. Ticks collected from a deer in West Virginia in 2010 and a dog in New Jersey in 2013 were retrospectively identified as being Asian longhorned ticks.