Should You Worry About The Asexual Asian Longhorned Tick If You Live In Gaithersburg, MD?
Unless you’re an entomologist, you’ve probably never heard of this particular type of tick in Gaithersburg, VA. It’s actually pretty new to the United States, having only been stateside for about two years. Let’s dig in (pun intended) to this tick.
The scientific name for the Asian longhorned tick is Haemaphysalis longicornis. It can be found on animals like livestock and pets and also on humans. Amazingly, thousands of ticks can be found on one host at a time. Which brings us to the title and this tick’s ability to reproduce on its own.
What makes this tick different is its ability to clone itself. This tick can reproduce asexually, meaning a single unfertilized female can produce many offspring without mating, allowing these ticks to spread rapidly. Identification is difficult as it resembles a rare rabbit tick. Researchers look for two triangular, hornlike spurs on the adult Asian longhorned tick’s mouthparts. If a suspected Asian longhorned tick is found in the field, it is best to bring ticks back to the office for proper identification. Read more at PCT Online…
So in theory, at this point, you’d be able to identify an Asian longhorned tick and can answer a Jeopardy question on it. But you may be wondering what it has to do with you as a resident of Gaithersburg or anywhere else in Montgomery County, VA.
The fact is that these ticks have been found in Maryland and Virginia, even though they’ve only been around for a short time.
As of August 1, 2019, longhorned ticks have been found in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Read more at CDC…
So the CDC confirms that this tick may be found in your neighboring forest, backyard or hiking trail.
As scientists come up with ways to get rid of ticks, Virginia health officials have some tips to reduce your chances of dealing with them.
Virginia health officials warning people on tick bites for final warmer days outside
Common tickborne illnesses in Virginia include Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Tips to help counter the diseases include wearing EPA registered repellants with Deet and walk the center of trails while hiking. They also want to remind people to check their dogs for ticks as well. Read more WJHL…
So spray yourself before going outdoors, check yourself and pets after being outside, and tuck your pants into your socks.
Another tool to fight off the Asian longhorned tick is calling on Backyard Bug Patrol. When you do, we’ll explain our use of organic tick control solutions and tick tunnels to control and prevent ticks and the diseases they carry. Call us today!