Invasive tick found for the first time in NYC

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Longhorned ticks (Rutgers Center for Vector Biology via New York State Department of Health)

An invasive and exotic tick species native to Asia that been spreading across the eastern United States has been found for the first time in New York City.

The city health department announced Wednesday that the longhorned tick, which can sometimes clone itself, has been spotted in the borough of Staten Island.

The tick is known for transmitting diseases to livestock and wild animals. It has not been linked to human diseases in the United States but it has been known to spread a potentially deadly virus to humans in Asia.

The first longhorned tick in the United States was found last summer in New Jersey. Since then, the ticks have been spotted in suburban New York and in states including Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The tick is a non-descript, brown-colored tick with both males and females able to feed. However, the invasive form is when females show the ability to produce eggs without the use of a male, as found in this case. Adult females can lay between 800 and 2,000 eggs in the soil in mid-summer with larvae being found in late summer and early fall.

The number of people getting sick from ticks, mosquitos and fleas tripled over the past 12 years, according to the CDC. 

With the Associated Press