Invasive Asian longhorned tick spreads, worrying scientists

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In the year since the Asian longhorned tick was officially spotted in New Jersey, it’s expanded to eight more states, including Virginia.

David Gaines with the Virginia Department of Health tells The Virginian-Pilot the invasive species has been found primarily in the more mountainous western and southwestern regions of the state. The ticks have been found on cows, goats, horses, deer and a hawk thus far in Virginia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the full public health and agricultural impact of the tick is yet unknown, but it can transmit known diseases and cause massive infestations. The female Asian longhorned tick can reproduce asexually, laying up to 2,000 eggs at a time.

The tick has also been spotted in Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

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