And while it’s tempting to believe cold weather may mean ticks are less active, that’s not the case. “Although we see more tick infestations during the summer months, ticks are a year-round concern here in Georgia because of our mild climate,” said Julie McPeake, agriculture department spokesperson in an email.
In appearance, the ticks resemble Georgia’s most common tick, the Lone Star tick, though it’s missing the telltale white dot on its back, the birthmark of the Lone Star tick.
Health officials warn the Asian longhorned tick can be dangerous to humans, pets and especially livestock. So far, no human cases of any diseases related to the Asian longhorn have been reported in the U. S. But in other countries, bites from the breed have caused serious illness in both humans and pets, according to the CDC.
Researchers say the Asian longhorns carry a pathogen that is similar to Lyme disease but that pathogen hasn’t been found in the variety of the breed currently spreading in the U.S. Lyme disease, which is spread from the bites of black-legged ticks, if left untreated can cause, arthritis, heart palpitations, nerve pain and inflammation of the brain. The tick has been the culprit in several deaths in the Far East of people who’ve been bitten by the insect. The disease is called “severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus” and can cause a hemorrhagic fever.
Protect yourself, your pets, and your livestock
• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthanediol, or 2-undecanone.
• Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
• Shower as soon as possible after spending time outdoors.
• Check for ticks daily. Ticks can hide under the armpits, behind the knees, in the hair, and in the groin.
• Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. Or wash them in hot water.
• Treat pets and livestock for ticks with veterinarian-approved products.
For more information, go to CDC.gov/ticks
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention