Invasive East Asian tick confirmed in Maryland

Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 17:21:54-04

The first confirmed sighting of the East Asian tick has been confirmed in Maryland, a test by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed.

The haemaphysalis longicornis tick, also known as the longhorned tick or the bush tick, was found on a white-tailed dear in Washington County and confirmed on July 27. The species is considered invasive, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources said, and Marylanders are advised to protect livestock, pets, family members, and themselves from the ticks.

The longhorned tick has been found in New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, and now Maryland. The ticks have been found to carry infectious diseases.

Hard to see with the naked eye, the ticks are brown-colored with distinctive "horns" that can be seen with a microscope. Adults can reproduce asexually, producing between 800 and 2,000 eggs after feeding. The ticks are found in tall grasses, meadows, pastures, and wood areas.

Residents are advised to double check pets, livestock, and people who wander into such areas. If unusual ticks are found, contact the state Department of Health.