Just when we thought we had enough to deal with when it comes to ticks, there’s a new species with potential health risks. Asian long-horned ticks have invaded the United States and are spreading along the Eastern seaboard quickly. This tick has also been found in seven states and populated areas of New York City. This tick was first discovered last summer in western New Jersey. They have also been found in North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia and West Virginia where they were found feeding on deer, horses, dogs, a sheep, a calf and an opossum. Entomologists have warned Texans about the possible arrival of this pest that can bite humans and transmit infectious diseases.
Do Asian Longhorned Ticks Carry Disease?
Asian long-horned ticks get their name because they have antenna-like features that look like longhorns, but you would need the help of a microscope to see them. These ticks came from Asia where they carry very scary diseases. In East Asia, the long-horned tick carries pathogens related to Lyme and others found in North America. A bigger threat is a phlebovirus that causes S.F.T.S, that can cause severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome. Thrombocytopenia is an abnormally low level of platelets. Platelets help with blood clotting. If there is a severe drop in platelet levels, it can trigger internal bleeding and organ failure. S.F.T.S can cause a fatality rate of about 15 percent and is more lethal in people over the age of 60 where it can kill half of them. Public health experts say this invasion of Asian long-horned ticks is concerning, but there’s no need for alarm just yet. In the United States domestic ticks are a nuisance as they can transmit dozens of pathogens. Currently, these ticks are more of a problem with livestock. Long-horned ticks can multiply rapidly and suck an amount of blood that can kill an animal. They will suck blood until they are so full, that their tiny little legs have a hard time supporting them. They can lay hundreds of fertile eggs after a blood meal and they don’t even have to mate to do it. This means a well-fed female tick can create an entire colony of ticks all on her own! These ticks can also survive American winters, making them a problem all year round.
How Can Ticks Be Prevented or Controlled?
Regardless of the tick, domestic or foreign, the same prevention needs to be taken. Use repellents and wear light-colored so ticks are easier to spot. Wear clothing that covers your arms and tuck pants into socks. Stay on the center of a path where ticks are less likely to be. When you do get home, check yourself for ticks and run a fine-tooth comb through your hair. Take a shower and wash you clothes at a high heat to kill any ticks. If you do find a tick, use tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can and pull straight back.
Tick Pest Inspections, Treatment, Control, Removal & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park Texas
There’s no way to tell when or how long-horned ticks came to the United States, or why they are spreading so fast. And while experts are more worried about deer ticks, lone star ticks and other ticks that are well established, they are still a concern. Contact A-Tex Pest Management to meet your tick and other pest control needs!