Dangerous tick found in Hunterdon County, NJ
NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - There's a new tick crawling through the woods and it's extremely dangerous. It can carry a deadly disease that could kill you within 48 hours. The tick is not native to the area and experts are worried since it survived the winter it's here to stay.
Scientists have just discovered an exotic tick—not known to the U.S.— in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and some researchers believe the East Asian tick can clone itself. It can also carry a deadly disease, but those found in New Jersey have not been found to be carriers.
"These ticks and mosquitos are having a field day of sorts," Drexel researcher Kayla Socarras told FOX 29.
Socarras, who is a researcher at Drexel's Center for Advanced Microbial Processing, is scared by the exploding numbers of ticks, mosquitos and other bloodsuckers that are traveling with people internationally and not dying out over mild winters.
"Bugs can move into new climates and new places where originally they would have never survived because of warmer temps and increased food supply for them they're surviving quite easily," Socarras said.
According to the CDC, the number of people getting sick from ticks, mosquitos and fleas tripled over the past 12 years and they may be carrying nine new germs—some causing illnesses that have left people dead in a few days.
"It has happened and it's alarmingly more common than it should be," Socarras said.
See any unusual tick on your pets or farm animals? Call the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400. See a new looking tick on wildlife? Call the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau or Wildlife Management at 908-637-4173, ext. 120.
For more information:
Drexel College of Medicine: Microbiome Testing on Ticks
CDC: Illnesses from Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Bites Increasing in the US
My Central Jersey: Exotic tick found on Hunterdon County farm was first in country