Asian Longhorned Tick Spreading Across Missouri
5 On Your Side (Bassler, H.) 11.22.2023, published “A sesame seed-sized tick is spreading across Missouri. Here’s what to know.” The article discusses the spread of various tick-borne diseases in Missouri, particularly due to the invasive Asian longhorned tick. This tick was first reported in the U.S. in 2017, but potentially present since before 2010. It has been detected across multiple states and is known for transmitting diseases like anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, theileriosis, and rickettsiosis.
The USDA issued a “Pest Alert” highlighting the tick’s spread and its threat to both human health and Missouri’s livestock. Female ticks can reproduce without mating, laying up to 2,000 eggs, causing significant stress to animals and potentially leading to death due to blood loss.
Despite the concerning nature of these ticks, the CDC suggests that Asian longhorned ticks seem less attracted to human skin compared to other native tick species. Individuals are encouraged to collect and seal these ticks in a zip-top bag and hand them over to local veterinarians for identification if found.
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