‘Soft’ Bat Ticks first got in New Jersey and it’s not our need right now


Live larval bait ticks (Carios kelly) found on large brown bats in New Jersey.

Live Larva Bat Tick (Carios Kelly) Found on large brown bats in New Jersey.
The image: J. Ossie / Rutgers Center for Vector Biology

As if we don’t have enough bad news to share right now, a tick species associated with bats has been spotted in New Jersey for the first time. Health risks are unknown, but these parasites, as common vectors for the disease, can pose a threat to humans, pets, and livestock.

Bats and tikkis seem like an unholy combination, as both species are notorious for spreading diseases. Regrettably, a soft bat is known as a tick Carios Kelly Known to live in dozens of states in the US, and, like New The research Published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, he has eventually made his way to New Jersey, most notably in the Mercer and Sussex counties.

Last year, scientists from the Endangered and Nongame Species Program of the Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Department of Environmental Protection of New Jersey identified the larva Carios Kelly On many big brown bats (Ipticus fuscus), In a possible indication that these soft ticks are spreading. James Ogie, a PhD student at the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, is the lead author of the new study.

Belong to the so-called “soft” ticks Argasidae Family of ticks, and, According to his name, They are soft to the touch, characterized by a leathery appearance. Hard ticks, on the other hand, belong to Ixodidae The family, and anyone who comes in contact with them, knows that these blood-sucking parasites are built like small tanks. Deer ticks, which spread Lyme disease in humans, are hard-bitten. As mentioned in an email, all ticks, whether hard or soft, have the ability to transmit pathogens as they feed on blood.

related to Carios Kelly, The risk of disease to humans is unknown, but is a cause for concern, Because these insects are known to bite people. What’s more, these ticks have been found to irritate Spastic fever group rickets (A group of diseases caused by closely related bacteria) and Fever relapsing Borrelia, According to Oki.

Humans like to roam in the attic and barn in human formations such as bats, where they can come in contact with their pathogens, humans, cats, dogs and animals. Ticks are quite content to remain attached to their bat hosts, but threats arise when bats are removed from these human settings.

“Ticks are usually embedded in bats, And there is no risk of jumping on those at-risk bats. In fact, ticks do not fly, skip, or jump and overall have a much slower blood feeder than mosquitoes, for example, “An email by Dina Fonseca, co-author of a new study from Rutgers-New Brunswick Told in “The primary safety strategy should be to be aware of the ability to leave ticks behind after removing bats. Deprived of their normal blood source, These bats can bite people. ”

Bats and ticks are interacting in a way that is extra problematic, Given that bats host a myriad of diseases, both known and unknown. Presence of Carios Kelly A possible indication that they are spreading to new areas is to highlight the importance of studying these parasites.. To that end, researchers want to collect more tick samples in and around New Jersey and test them for pathogens.

As a fun fact, Carios Kelly Technically, it is not the first soft tick to be found in New Jersey. Back in 2001, Scientist found it A soft tick species Carios jersey Dating some 90 million to 94 million years ago in Amber’s Chunk. Ticks have been around for a long time, even Feast on dinosaur blood During the Cretaceous.

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