New Species of Tick Found in New York State
A new species of tick has been found in New York State, and it comes with a few warnings from health officials.
The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick is found in Australia, New Zealand, and eastern Asia, and has now been found in Westchester County, NY.
The tick is commonly known as the longhorned tick.
The longhorn tick has been known to transmit diseases to humans in other parts of the world. Scientists are saying they need more research before they can say this is possible in the United States.
The tick can affect livestock, however. Symptoms of tick-borne illnesses and diseases in livestock include fever, loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness, and labored breathing.
If you are a farmer or you suspect you have located a longhorned tick, you are urged to contact the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Animal Industry at 518-457-3502.
The Center for Disease Control has provided their recommended procedure for removing ticks from humans:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
They also warn against using any folklore remedies such as burning the tick or painting the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly.
If a tick is located on a pet, PetMD has recommended removing the tick using this process:
STEP 1: PUT ON YOUR GLOVES.
Ticks carry infectious agents that can seep into a human’s bloodstream through breaks in the skin. It’s better to play it safe and wear protective gear.
STEP 2: STEADY YOUR PET AND KEEP HIM CALM.
When you’re getting ready to remove the tick you’ve got to keep your pet calm. Any unusual poking or prodding tends to make dogs and cats nervous. If there is another person available, have that person hold your pet and keep him relaxed
STEP 3: POSITION YOUR TWEEZERS.
Take a pair of tweezers—pointy ones work best—and grab hold of the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Be careful not to pinch your dog’s skin.
STEP 4: PULL OUT THE TICK.
Using steady pressure, pull the tick out using a straight motion. Do not twist or jerk the tick because you want to avoid leaving the tick’s mouthparts behind. Also, make sure not to squeeze or crush the tick, since its fluids may contain infectious material. After removing the tick, examine it to make sure the head and mouth parts were removed. If not, take your pet to veterinarian to remove what's left in the pet's skin.
STEP 5: KILL THE TICK.
Kill the tick by placing it in a container with rubbing alcohol. Once the tick is dead, most veterinarians recommend keeping it in the container with a lid incase your pet begins displaying symptoms of disease.
STEP 6: DISINFECT THE BITE SITE.
Use antiseptic spray or wipes to disinfect the bite site and keep an eye on it for signs of infection. If the bite site remains red or becomes inflamed, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
STEP 7: REWARD YOUR PET.
After you’ve removed the tick from your dog or cat, praise your pet for being good. Give him or her a treat and add in some extra playtime as a special reward.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR PET
Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog or cat over the next few weeks and be on the lookout for any strange symptoms including a reluctance to move, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet immediately.