Is the Deadly East Asian Tick in Virginia Beach?

east Asian Tick extermination
Image courtesy of Acarologiste CC by-S.A. 4.0

The East Asian tick has established a foothold in the United States for the first time this year. This species of tick is native to Asia near China. However, it has spread to other countries including Australia. This is the first time that it has been found in the United States. The East Asian tick is an extremely invasive species and it is usually found in large numbers especially around farm animals. The ticks are currently only identified in the New Jersey area. However, no one is sure how quickly they will spread out and they may reach Virginia Beach eventually.

Why Is the East Asian Tick Considered Dangerous?

The East Asian tick is dangerous for a few reasons. The first is that the tick tends to be found in huge groups. There has been documentation that enough ticks attached to one cow that they actually killed it. The ticks can reproduce asexually and are difficult to eradicate. The other major concern is that they carry a number of serious illnesses, with the most serious being the SFTS virus, which has a mortality rate of about twelve percent. Since this is a virus, it is difficult to treat.

Are There Other Types of Ticks I Should Worry About?

You may be assuming that you do not need to worry about ticks this season, since the East Asian tick has not spread to Virginia Beach. However, the experts predict an extremely active tick season for Virginia this year. There are a number of different tick populations already well-established in the Virginia Beach area that can make you sick. Some tick-borne illnesses in the area are STARI, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

How Do I Identify the Different Types of Ticks?

Each tick looks slightly different from each other, but since ticks are so small you will need to have at least a magnifying glass. If you are bitten by a tick, you should carefully remove it with tweezers. If you are not sure what type of tick it is, you can keep the tick by putting it on a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and then putting that into a zipper bag. This will kill the tick and you can take it to an agency that can you identify it or you can look for matching images online.

What Type of Insect Repellent Works Well on Ticks?

DEET has been proven to be the most effective insect repellent against ticks. DEET is safe to use on babies who are at least two months old. There are different levels of DEET in spray and you should choose a spray below 25 % for children. If you are traveling into an area that is heavily infested with ticks, you can use something stronger. You can also treat your yard for ticks, which can reduce the chances of being bitten.