East Asian Tick found in New Jersey

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VERNON — The exotic East Asian tick also known as the Longhorned or Bush tick or its species name haemaphysalis longicornis was discovered on a farm in Hunterdon County, N.J., on Nov. 9. The tick was identified by the Monmouth County Tick and Borne Disease Lab at Rutgers University and the Hunterdon County Division of Health. The finding of the tick was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa. According to all three official organizations, the tick is not known to be commonly present in the United States.

The appearance of this particular tick is dark brown in color and can be a serious threat to livestock, specifically infecting cattle with Theileriosis which causes severe anemia and possibly death. The tick also has the potential to spread bacterial and viral diseases to other livestock, like horses, sheep and goats as well as pets, wildlife and even humans with a spreading of Spotted Fever Rickettsioses.

The Hunterdon County farm has been treated and tick elimination was successful however monitoring by the NJ Division offish and Wildlife, The Department of Environmental Protection and other health, animal and agricultural groups continues.

Some ticks may become less active in winter but precautions against ticks always need to be taken in all seasons.

Steps to protect family and pets against ticks as reviewed by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture are.

1. Know where ticks are located: wooded or grassy areas or on animals.

2. Use EPA registered repellents.

3. Treat clothing, boots and camping gear with Permethrin.

4. Cover up by wearing long sleeves and pants, tucking pants into socks.

5. Shower as soon as possible after being outdoors.

6. Treat pets with veterinarian approved products.

Questions concerning ticks and livestock can be addressed by the State Veterinarian 609-671-6400.

Questions regarding tickborne illnesses in humans can be assisted by the NJ Department of Health 609- 826-5964.
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