A New Tick Species Is Spreading Across The United States

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Looking For The Light

But Here’s What You Should Really Worry About

The New York Times reported yesterday that a new-to-the-United-States tick species has been identified in seven states in recent months, after an infestation was first discovered last summer in New Jersey. The tick is native to Asia, where it is known to carry a dangerous virus that kills 15% of the people it bites. But it has spread in recent years—to Australia, New Zealand, several Pacific islands, and now to America.

An invasive tick species surely sounds like something out of a horror film, especially given the explosion of tick populations and tick-borne diseases here in the States in recent years. But before you start freaking out about this specific critter—Haemaphysalis longicornis, or the the Asian longhorned tick, as it’s known—let’s put a few things into perspective.

First, none of the Asian longhorned ticks discovered here in the United States…

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