Asian Longhorned Tick Found in Fairfield County

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

The Connecticut Argicultural Experiment Station (CAES) is reporting the first Asian longhorned tick was found in Fairfield County.

The Asian longhorned tick, or Haemaphysalis longicornis, is an invasive species that was first found on a New Jersey farm in 2017, according to CAES.

CAES said the tick was found in at least 14 other states and is raising public and veterinary health concerns.

The Asian longhorned tick is native to the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and eastern regions of Russia and China, and it is a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand, CAES said.

In temperate climates, female adult Asian longhorned ticks can produce 1,000 to 2,000 eggs at a time without mating. That means individual animals could each host hundreds to thousands of ticks, the CAES said.

The adult female ticks are 2.7 to 3.4 mm long and 1.4 to 2.0 mm wide whereas the nymphs are 2.8 mm and 0.3 mm.

Larvae and nymphs infest birds and small mammals and adults infest large animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, dogs, cats, and wildlife. Feeding of the Asian longhorned ticks on humans has also been reported, according to the CAES.

Dr. Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist who directs the CAES Passive Tick Surveillance and Testing Program said CAES is closely monitoring the distribution and human biting activity of this newly discovered invasive tick species.

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