The USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory has confirmed that the Longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) has been discovered in Monmouth County, N.J., making it the sixth county in the state where the tick has been found. Earlier findings have confirmed the tick in Bergen, Hunterdon, Union, Middlesex and Mercer counties.
"It is important for the public to continue to submit tick samples as this will allow us to identify new areas where this tick may be located," says Dr. Manoel Tamassia, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s state veterinarian. "Only with this knowledge will we be able to make decisions at local and national levels."
There have also been confirmed findings of the Longhorned tick in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas.
Various local, state and federal animal health agencies, as well as Rutgers Center for Vector Biology, continue to work together to identify the range of the Longhorned tick in New Jersey. The ticks that have been collected thus far have tested negative for various human and animal pathogens.
Like deer ticks, the nymphs of the Longhorned tick are very small, resembling tiny spiders, and can easily go unnoticed on animals and people.
Longhorned ticks in other countries have been shown to spread diseases. They are known to infest a wide range of species including humans, dogs, cats and livestock.
Counties have set up drop-off locations for the public to submit ticks they find on themselves, their pets, livestock or on wildlife. Information on these locations and how to submit a tick can be found on the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s website at state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/ah.
If you need information about what to do if you find a tick on yourself, your pets or livestock, call 1-833-NEWTICK (1-833-639-8425).
Source: New Jersey Department of Agriculture