NEW YORK, NY – An Asian tick capable of reproducing at remarkable speed and gorging on so much blood that it kills itself has been found in the New York City area. It’s the first new species of tick to be found in the U.S. in 50 years, the New York Times reports.
The long-horned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, was first seen infesting the ear of a sheep in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. It has since been found in many suburban areas surrounding New York City, including in Bergen County and Westchester, the report said.
In Asia, the species carries a virus that is fatal for 15 percent of its victims. No human disease has yet been found in the insects discovered in the U.S, though health experts told the New York Times they are concerned.
Female long-horned ticks can lay hundreds of fertile eggs in one sitting without mating, the newspaper reported.
People are advised to use repellants and carry out tick checks after being in the woods or walking through long grass.
The full New York Times report can be found here.
Lead image via the State of New Jersey