Rare tick found in Monmouth County home
TRENTON — The rarely seen longhorned tick has been spotted in another New Jersey county after it was found on the floor of a home in Monmouth County.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture did not disclose where in the county the tick was found, noting only that it was in a home with a dog. The statement from the department said that the family could not say definitively that the tick had at any time been on their dog as they had also had another dog visit their home around the same time.
The ticks can spread disease to dogs, cats, livestock and human beings. The ticks collected in New Jersey have all tested negative for human and animal pathogens.
Like deer ticks, the nymphs of the longhorned tick can be hard to see.
With the most recent sighting, the longhorned tick has now been found in Bergen, Hunterdon, Union, Middlesex and Mercer counties.
Because the tick is so rare, the state has undertaken a statewide "Tick Blitz" in conjunction with the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology to help figure out how pervasive its presence is in the state.
"It is important for the public to continue to submit tick samples as this will allow us to identify new areas where this tick may be located," State Veterinarian Manoel Tamassia said. "Only with this knowledge, will we be able to make decisions at local and national levels."
The tick has been found at several public parks across the state including:
- Davidson Mill County Pond Park in Middlesex County
- Overpeck County Park in Bergen County
- Watchung Reservation, Houdaille Quarry Park in Union County
- Briant Park in Union County.
The longhorned tick has also been spotted in Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas.
Counties across the state have set up drop off locations to submit ticks they find. Information on those locations can be found on the Department of Agriculture website. Anyone who finds a tick can also call a special hotline at 1-833-NEWTICK.