New tick species causing health, livestock concerns

Female can produce 2,000 eggs without male

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018
New Longhorn tick species raises concerns
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New Longhorn tick species raises concerns: Monical Malpass reports during Action News at 5pm on August 7, 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPVI) -- A new species of tick native to Asia is popping up along the East Coast of the U.S.

The longhorned tick, or Haemaphysalis longicornis, was first confirmed in the U-S last year, on a sheep in New Jersey.

A few weeks ago, one was found on a wild deer in Centre County, Pennsylvania.

Ticks have also been found in several other states - but scientists don't know how they got there.

Female longhorned ticks don't need a male to reproduce.

They can spawn asexually.

After feeding, a single female can lay around 2,000 eggs, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that's enough to establish a tick population in a new location.

The longhorned tick can cause infestations in livestock, sucking so much blood, it causes anemia, and even death.

In most life stages, longhorned ticks are the size of a poppy see.

Adult longhorned ticks grow to the size of a pea when they are fully engorged with blood.

Its impact on humans is unknown, but people are urged to step up tick prevention.