As if the world needed any more creepy insects flying or crawling around everywhere, experts have found a new invasive tick species located in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania officials are urging people to take precautions for the tick. It can infect host animals in clusters and may be able to survive during winter. (Yikes!) The National Veterinary Services Laboratory tested the tick, confirming the presence of the Asian or longhorned tick in Pennsylvania. The tick was discovered on a wild deer in Centre County.
The longhorned tick is known to carry diseases that infect cattle and hogs in Asia. So far, ticks examined in the U.S. don’t carry any infectious diseases, but the United States Department of Agriculture says the insects frequently form large infestations, causing stress on warm-blooded host animals, reducing its production and growth. A severe infestation can kill the animal due to blood loss.
This invasive tick can clone itself and suck livestock dry. The longhorned tick (an adult and nymph pictured next to a dime) is already widespread in Asia, but sightings in the United States. have been on the rise. That could be bad news. In Asia, the ticks can spread a potentially fatal disease to people and may adapt to spread local maladies like Lyme disease and Powassan virus disease. Female ticks can clone themselves, laying up to 2,000 genetically identical eggs that require no fertilization from males. The tiny arachnids will chow down on anything they can get their hooks into, including humans,but they’re more of a threat to livestock, at least for now. They can spread theileriosis, which is deadly to cattle. In large numbers, the ticks can suck so much blood from one animal that it dies. So, on that happy note, enjoy your weekend! (📸: J. Occi/Rutgers Center for Vector Biology) #science #ticks #longhornedtick #cloning #biology #nope #nope #nopenopenope
The female longhorned tick can reproduce asexually and a single tick can reproduce and lay over 2,000 eggs after feeding on a host. Potential hosts include cattle, pets, birds, small mammals, and humans. It’s easy to confuse these ticks with other tick species due to their distinctive properties not being visible without a microscope.
According to State Veterinarian Dr. David Wolfgang, scientists do not know how the species will adapt to North American climate and animal hosts, but it did survive New Jersey’s winter and has infected cattle and sheep in the region. This is where the tick was originally identified. It was found in large numbers in sheep in Mercer County in 2017. It has also been found in Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, and New York.
What can you do to avoid and prevent diseases them?
- Officials recommend examining your animals on a regular basis to check for ticks after being outside to prevent diseases and bites.
- Livestock owners should use tick prevention practices on their pastures and feedlots, such as keeping weeds and grass trimmed and clearing away brush.
- Ticks can be found in your backyard, which is why it’s essential to wear long pants an sleeves and use insect repellent containing DEET to help you safe from ticks that may barre disease.
- Fortunately, regular tick treatments should be effective against the longhorned tick.