Warning issued for 'serious pest' with aggressive bite that can reproduce by itself

Longhorned tick (Source: Wikimedia)

Authorities in North Carolina are advising residents to be aware of a new species of tick that has been found in Polk County.

The NC Department of Agriculture said a Longhorned tick, which is native to east Asia, is a serious pest to livestock. Officials described the tick as an aggressive biter and said it reproduces asexually, quickly creating intense infestations.

The Longhorned tick is a known carrier of several diseases that affect livestock and humans. However, it has not been linked to any human infection in the U.S.

A recent survey led to the discovery of one of these ticks on a possum in Polk County, North Carolina.

“We are working with the USDA, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, our field staff and veterinarians to help raise awareness of ticks and tick prevention,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The good news is that the Longhorned ticks respond to insecticides used to control other common species of ticks on pets and livestock.”

The Longhorned tick was previously identified in New Jersey, Arkansas, Virginia and West Virginia.

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