New tick just found in Rhode Island multiplying fast

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — Your backyard is home to so many insects. When it comes to ticks, there’s a new one that’s spreading incredibly fast.

First recognized in America in New Jersey in 2017, the Asian longhorned tick is a relative newcomer to Rhode Island backyards. It prefers deer and dogs over humans or rodents for a meal. Food preference isn’t only what makes this a tick of note.

Dr. Thomas Mather, director of URI TickEncounter, explained what makes this tick remarkable is that after a blood meal, the female is able to lay fertile eggs.

Since they don’t need to mate, they can invade new regions very quickly. Since 2017, Asian longhorned ticks were collected in 17 states. In Rhode Island, they were found on Block Island four years ago and collected in South Kingstown last year. Their numbers are growing fast.

This year, Mather has already found them in communities along the coast from Narragansett across to Charlestown.

At this rate, the Asian longhorned tick will be coming very soon to a backyard near you.

Categories: News, Scientifically Speaking