What Is the East Asian Tick?

east asian tick
Image courtesy of NIAID via Flickr CC by 2.0
The East Asian tick is a tick that is mostly brown in color. It is a tick that is considered very invasive, meaning it can quickly establish itself in an area. It is able to reproduce asexually. These ticks are often found in large numbers and can be very difficult to completely eliminate.

How Did the East Asian Tick Get to the United States?

No one is sure how the East Asian tick came to the United States. It was first found this fall in new Jersey. The officials there tried to eradicate it but were unable to. They just determined that is firmly established in New Jersey. It has not been identified in other areas of the United States including the Virginia Beach area. However, no one is sure how long it will take for the tick to spread outside of New Jersey.

Why Are People Worried About the East Asian Tick?

One of the reasons people are concerned about this tick is it is a known carrier of STFS, which is a serious illness. The ticks can also transmit other illnesses such as including Japanese spotted fever. They are often spotted around farm animals, but can also attach themselves to other animals including deer.

Should I Worry About Other Ticks Too?

The wet winter means that there should be a large tick population this year. Although the East Asian tick has not been identified in Virginia Beach yet, a number of other ticks have. These ticks also carry illnesses that can make you, your family or your pets very sick. These illnesses include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Stair and Lyme disease. Ticks can bite throughout the year and the small ticks, also called seed ticks, are very prevalent in the spring.

What Steps Can I Take to Stop Tick Bites?

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from tick bites. The first is to treat your yard for ticks. This allows you to enjoy your time outside without worrying about being bitten. Be sure to check for ticks often, especially after visiting a tick-prone area. You can wear insect repellent with DEET in it to reduce the chances of being bitten. Dressing in love sleeves and long pants can help. If you tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants, you lower the chance of being bitten. If you find a tick, you should remove it with tweezers and then flush it down the toilet or wrap it in tape.