What Danger Does the East Asian Tick Pose to People in North Carolina?

east asian tick extermination
Image courtesy of Richard Bartz CC by-SA 2.5
The East Asian tick has been on the news because it has been found in the United States. This tick is originally from Asia. It is recognized as a highly invasive species. It multiplies rapidly. It can reproduce asexually. When the East Asian tick is found, it is usually found in large numbers. There has been a case reported where enough ticks attached to one cow that they drained the cow until it died.

Should I Be Concerned About the East Asian Tick?

The main concern at this time is that the tick will spread throughout the United States. Currently, it is not in North Carolina, but officials are not sure how quickly it will spread. It does not respond well to attempts to contain it so the chances are that it will eventually reach North Carolina. The major concern is that the East Asian tick carries SFTS, which is a dangerous virus. There is no known treatment for the virus, instead doctors will manage the symptoms as the patients go through the course of the illness.

How Do I Identify Different Types of Ticks?

It can be difficult to identify the different types of ticks. The East Asian tick is brown and does not have spots or patterns on the back. However, this is similar to other ticks. The best option is to take the tick to the doctor or to your agricultural department to have it identified. Once you remove the tick, you should place it on a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and seal it in a zipper bag. The experts can look at the tick and determine what it is. If you find a tick that you have not seen before, you should have it checked out.

What Can I Do to Prevent Tick Bites?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent tick bites. When you are going into an area that has a lot of ticks, you should wear insect repellent with DEET. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help too. You can treat your yard for ticks, and if you are worried about your children being bitten or if you live near woods, this is a good option. The tick season is expected to be record breaking with a large outbreak in North Carolina. There are already several types of ticks in the area that can spread diseases, and you should be protecting your family from them.