Invasive Tick Arrives In United States
Kevin Felts 03.09.18
As if things were not bad enough with ticks, a new invasive species from Asia has arrived in the Northeast. Get this, the new tick can reproduce a-sexually. This means the tick can basically clone themselves and reproduce without the need of the opposite sex.
The outbreak is concentrated in New Jersey, which also has the highest rates of Lyme disease in the nation.
Health experts suspect the new tick species are being spread by wild animals, such as deer.
New Jersey residents know they need to look out for ticks. The state has one of the highest concentrations of Lyme disease in the country.
But one recent finding could lead Garden State residents to keep an even closer eye out for the bloodsuckers than normal.
Somehow, an east Asian tick that has the ability to essentially clone itself and is a noted invasive species in other parts of the world made its way to Hunterdon County.
And it wasn’t just an isolated tick. There were more than 1,000 found in the western area of New Jersey.
The article goes on to describe how ticks would cover anyone who walked into the barn where livestock were kept. One poor sheep was covered in ticks.
Preventing Tick Bites
When I go on a hiking trip during the spring and summer, it is not uncommon to get back home with a couple of ticks. Upon arriving home, the gear is left on the front porch, and sometimes I strip to my underwear before going inside the house. No worries, I live in a rural area and nobody can see my front door area.
From there, it is usually straight to the shower to wash off. If my wife is home, she gives me a look over for ticks. If a tick is found, a tick lasso is used to remove it. A tick lasso is a tool that uses something like dental floss to form a loop. The loop goes between the tick body and the persons skin. The lasso is spring loaded, so it tightens around the tick, twist, then pull the blood sucker out.
Grabbing the tick with your fingers, squeezing, and pulling off can force the ticks bodily fluids through its mouth and into your skin. From there, infection can set in.
Clothes wore during the hiking trip are washed, dried, and then put up.
Before heading out, spray the clothes with DEET. The CDC recommends at least 20% DEET to prevent tick bites. Another option is permethrin, which should be at least 0.5%.
Stay safe and look out for ticks.