A New Species of Tick Introduces Itself to North Carolina

girl in grass

How often, on a pretty Upstate morning, do you hop in your car and head up Highway 25 towards Western North Carolina for a hike or maybe just a stroll in the mountains? We are so lucky to live in an area where we can hit the hills in less than an hour, aren’t we? No one wants to talk you out of that kind of day, but there is a new risk to be aware of: the bite of a Longhorned Tick. 

tick floating

An Asian Tick That Clones Itself                                                                                                              

The US Department of Agriculture describes this exotic tick, Native to East Asia, as an aggressive biter. So far the Longhorned tick has been spotted in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and now Polk County North Carolina… right at the South Carolina border. After one of these ticks, fairly new to the US, was found on an opossum, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture issued a warning for veterinarians to be on the lookout for them.

One of the Longhorned ticks unique and defining characteristics make it a great danger to animal populations. The Longhorned tick does not require a male to reproduce. Basically, it can clone itself. Therefore a female tick alone “frequently builds intense infestations on animals causing great stress, reduced growth and production, and blood loss”according to Michael Neaultof the NC Department of Agriculture. One female can feed on one mid to large size animal and create its own small colony. YUCK!! The tick is also suspected to carry several viral and bacterial pathogens. At this point the Longhorned tick is being monitored to discover just what diseases it could carry and transmit.

Stay Protected

Obviously, there is lots more to learn about this yucky creature new to our part of the world, yet one thing appears true… it is on the move. That’s just one more reason to protect yourself from it and all other ticks. We already have ticks in Greenville that can cause disease. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is present and very dangerous. Still, there is no reason to cancel your road trip. Follow the necessary precautions.

Wear protective clothing. Treating those clothes with permethrin is one of the most effective ways to avoid ticks. Wear insect repellent, the good kind with DEET. Check yourself from head to toe when you get home. Then check again. It is the awareness of what is out there that helps to keep us safe from disease.

You can take even more control when you are at home. By choosing our tick protection services at Mosquito Squad of Greenville, you won’t need repellent or protective gear to sit and relax in your own backyard. We will eliminate 85-90% of any existing adult ticks in your backyard and continue to keep them out all year long, regardless of whether they are the new Asian version or the same old ticks we’ve had in South Carolina for years.

Call us today (864) 362-2013

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