New tick species discovered in North Carolina

Recent tick surveys sent to the US Department of Agriculture identified a longhorned tick on an opossum in Polk County, North Carolina. The longhorned tick is an exotic species from Asia that is a serious pest of livestock.

The tick was initially identified in New Jersey in 2017, but further research into other reported ticks that may have been misidentified have revealed that the first recorded case of this tick was on a white-tailed deer in August 2010 in West Virginia. Before its introduction in North Carolina, the tick had been positively identified in Arkansas, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. Continue reading

Meat lovers beware: the lone star tick and meat allergies

There is little doubt that being bitten by a tick can be bad for your health. Ticks carry pathogens for serious, life-threatening diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme’s Disease, ehrlichiosis and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). If this weren’t enough, research led by the University of Virginia has also discovered that several bites by one tick species can also cause an allergy to meat. Continue reading

New tick-borne virus discovered in Missouri

Two men from northwestern Missouri fell ill with a tick-borne disease that scientists had never seen before, according to a report in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

The new ailment was dubbed the Heartland virus after the Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, where the men were treated.

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Ticks emerging earlier than normal

Typically ticks begin to appear in late spring and early summer as warm weather sets in, but this year, cases of the annual pest were reported three to four weeks earlier than normal, said agents with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

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Study Finds Invasive Honeysuckle Harbors Disease-Transmitting Ticks

Invasive plants have long been cast as exotic villains of a community, snuffing out native resident plants and establishing roots, so to speak, that are difficult to eradicate. Recently scientists in the Midwest have discovered that one such nuisance plant—invasive honeysuckle—also increases the risk of tick-borne diseases.

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