The East Asian tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis), also known as the longhorned tick or bush tick, has possibly been established in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
A new species to the United States, the tick initially was found on a farm in Hunterdon County in November 2017. It was then identified as the East Asian tick by the Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University and the Hunterdon County Department of Health, and was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL).
Although the Department of Agriculture took steps to control the tick, which the department says did not carry any disease, it was confirmed by the NVSL on April 17 that the Longhorned tick successfully overwintered — and that it has possibly become established in the state.
“Local, state and federal animal health and wildlife officials, as well as Rutgers University – Center for Vector Biology are working together to eliminate this pest from the index premises and to contain its spread to the surrounding areas,” the New Jersey Department of Agriculture says in a news release. “Surveillance in wildlife and livestock species will continue throughout the year.”
State and USDA employees will be further investgating the scope of the establishment, and also say they are working with the public to determine if the tick has spread.