Beware: Asian Longhorned Ticks

Top, from left: The blacklegged or deer tick and American dog tick; bottom, from left: lone star tick and Asian longhorned tickSmith Collection/Gado/Getty Images; CDC

Several years ago a lone star tick burrowed into me. “The good news,” said my doctor “you don’t have Lyme. The bad news is you have the tick-borne illness you don’t want to get.”

By comparison Lyme is a picnic in the park.

What followed was Ehrlichiosis: 103-degree temperature, bed ridden for days, sweating so immense wringing a T-shirt could fill a glass of water, and Alpha-gal Syndrome.

Now, another creepy crawler has invaded our territory.

From Vincent Gabrielle, CT Post:

Asian longhorned ticks are a non-native tick species that were first found biting people in Connecticut in 2018.

“There was a single specimen that was engorged that had been removed from a child,” said Goudarz Molaei, chief scientist and head of the Department of Entomology for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Molaei runs the state’s tick surveillance program.

Since the initial case, Molaei says that the state has found Asian longhorned ticks across Fairfield and New Haven counties. He cited Bridgeport, Stratford, Derby and Milford as locations where he had seen outbreaks.

He said they had been spreading via landscaping companies as they move from client-to-client in more affluent suburbs. High deer populations can also facilitate the transmission of these ticks. Most of the known sites of infestation have been parks.

“There was one incidence in Bridgeport after I walked out of a tick-infested area that I was able to collect 800 ticks just from my coveralls,” said Molaei. “It’s beyond disgusting. It’s a scary experience.”

… Molaei said that people should be sure to to check themselves, their children and pets for ticks whenever they go outside. He also said that if you see an Asian longhorned tick, that you should get in touch with the Tick Surveillance Program. He said it was only a matter of time before they spread throughout the state.

Full story here.


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