A new species of tick has been found in New York.
Longhorned ticks, which are not native to the United States, have recently been found in multiple locations within Westchester County.
Although they have also been seen recently in states like New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina, longhorned ticks are commonly found in Australia, New Zealand and eastern Asia.
This type of tick has transmitted disease to humans before, but it is not clear if this can happen in the U.S.
In any case, the New York State Department of Health is encouraging people to protect themselves and their animals against the ticks.
“Taking steps to protect yourself, your children and pets against ticks is the best way to prevent tick bites and tick-borne diseases,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “We will continue to conduct surveillance and research on this new type of tick, but it is encouraging that the same steps that protect against deer ticks are also effective against the longhorned tick.”
Symptoms of a tick-borne disease in cattle include fever, dehydration, weakness, labored breathing and lack of appetite.
Here are some ways to help prevent ticks while outside, courtesy of the Department of Health:
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect against ticks and other biting insects.
- Check for ticks often while outdoors and brush off any ticks before they attach.
- Perform a full body check multiple times during the day, as well as at the end of the day to ensure that no ticks are attached.
- Consider use of repellents containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535, following label instructions.
Farmers who suspect longhorned ticks near them can call the state Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Animal Industry at (518) 457-3502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.