GHENT, WV (WVNS) — Ticks can be one of most annoying aspects of being outdoors and now West Virginians have one more tick species to look out for!
Now, on top of looking out for the dog tick, the deer tick, and the lone star tick, people of the Mountain State now have to look out for the Asian longhorned tick.
Also known as the bush tick or simply the longhorned tick, is native to parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands, including Hawai’i. It was first discovered in the United States on a New Jersey sheep farm in 2017.
As of August 2022, longhorned ticks had also been spotted in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Longhorned ticks are known to reproduce sexually or asexually and can carry diseases extremely harmful to humans and animals. It is reported the longhorned ticks are less attracted to human skin compared to other species.
For those ticks that have been collected and analyzed in a lab, none of the longhorned ticks that call the eastern part of the United States of America home have been carrying any human disease causing pathogens.