State officials announced Monday that two exotic species of ticks have been discovered for the first time in Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said that both Asian and Eurasian ticks were discovered on Block Island as part of a decade-long study of ticks on the island.
“This was confirmed by DNA and morphological features that are ticks that were not previously found in Rhode Island,” the agency said.
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Tick’s discovery Danielle M., former associate research scientist at Columbia University. Tufts did.
Tufts identified the tick species Haemaphysalis longicornis, also known as the Asian Longhorn Tick, and Haemaphysalis picata while studying ticks on Block Island this summer.
Ticks were originally thought to be native, but further examination found alien species.
The Asian longhorn tick was first found in the US in New Jersey in 2017, but later samples determined that these ticks may have occurred in the country since at least 2010.
“The Asian Longhorn tick is considered a serious threat to livestock in Australia and New Zealand, where it is invasive,” the agency said on Monday. “This poses a threat to New England livestock because it can attach itself to feeding various warm-blooded animals. If too many ticks attach to an animal, blood loss can kill the animal. ”
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In 2018, a study warned that ticks could spread to the eastern US and parts of the Midwest, as well as a small part of the Pacific Northwest.
H. Punctata, known as the “red sheep tick”, is native to the southern part of Europe as well as parts of England and the North African coast.
State officials said, “The discovery on Block Island is notable because this tick does not exist outside its home range.”
Both types of ticks can transmit “different types of diseases” to humans and animals, however, only one disease is found in these ticks in the US
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Officials recommend the following guidelines to prevent ticks:
- Apply tick repellents on exposed skin and clothing.
- Spray permethrin-containing products on outdoor clothing including shoes. Permethrin should not be used directly on the skin.
- Check clothing and exposed skin before moving from one area to another.
- Wear a light-colored long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Examine the body immediately after returning from outdoor activities in tick-infected areas.
“If ticks are found, remove them using fine-grained tweezers, wash the affected area with soap and water, and disinfect the cutting area,” the agency said. “To protect hunting dogs, hunters should check with their vet about an appropriate topical or systemic tick-control treatment for their dog.”