HUNTERDON COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) – An exotic tick has arrived in New Jersey.
The Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann tick species, which is known to East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific islands, was found infesting a sheep in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, late last year.
The sheep, which had no history of travel outside the country, was found covered in thousands of this foreign tick, according to the Journal of Medical Entomology. The infestation was so large that the ticks crawled onto the investigator’s pants soon after setting foot inside the paddock where the sheep was kept.
It is currently unknown whether the New Jersey collections represent a limited or established population, but because this species could present a significant threat to human and animal health in the United States, vigilance is encouraged.
There are currently five tick species known to be in the Garden State: Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and Ixodes cookei.