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A new blood-sucking tick species is spreading across the US

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Posted at 1:55 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 13:55:00-04

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A potentially deadly breed of ticks is spreading across portions of the eastern United States.

The Asian long-horned tick has been found in seven states and are known to rapidly multiply, according to the New York Times

The species was originally discovered in New Jersey in Nov. 2017 and has since spread to six other states:

  • New York, including New York City's populated suburbs
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Arkansas
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

The virus carried by the Asian long-horned tick kills approximately 15 percent of its livestock victims and has been known to transmit deadly diseases to humans, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

A blood-fed long-horned tick can balloon to the size of a large raisin. 

An adult female Asian long-horned tick can produce up to 2,000 eggs over a two- to three-week period, according to Penn State University.

Preventing an invasion of Asian long-haired ticks is similar to reducing infestations of other tick species:

  • Examine limbs and animals for tick bites regularly after being outside.
  • Maintain low grass, control weeds, and remove wood debris, which can be used as tick habitats.
  • Use approved bio-pesticides and pest-control treatments.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing when outside.

It is not known at this time how the Asian long-horned ticks reached the United Sates.

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