For first time, Rutgers has counted all the tick species in NJ
A team at Rutgers University has completed a comprehensive list of 11 tick species identified in New Jersey.
The study's lead author was entomology doctoral student James Occi. The co-author of the study was Andrea Egizi, a visiting professor at Rutgers Center for Vector Biology and a research scientist in the Monmouth County Tick-borne Disease Program.
Dina Fonseca, a professor and director of the Center for Vector Biology, says the tick threat does not have an off-season.
"Ticks are actually a year-round problem. You can get ticks in January and you can get bit by infected lines of Lyme bacterium-infected ticks in November, December, January, February, etc.," she said.
"One of my first questions to Jim Occi was how many species of ticks are there in New Jersey? And I was a little surprised when he said, well, actually there has never been an actual tally. And so I said that's a great first chapter for your thesis. Why don't we figure out what species have actually been demonstrably found in New Jersey?"
She says they hope to develop some type of standard tick surveillance across New Jersey to accurately assess the disease threat.
"Spring's coming. We need to be prepared," she said.
About 20 different pathogens have been identified in ticks, including Lyme.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5