the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, In recent months, the exotic longhorned tick has been found in New Jersey, including one identified in Bergen County. This invasive species uses humans, other mammals, and birds as hosts. Longhorned ticks found thus far in New Jersey have tested negative for pathogens dangerous to humans or animals, but in other countries these insects have spread disease to humans.
Various local, state, and federal animal health agencies, as well as Rutgers–New Brunswick, are working together to identify the range of the ticks and develop a plan to eliminate them from the areas where they are found. Like deer-ticks, the nymphs of the Longhorned tick are very small (resembling tiny spiders) and can easily go unnoticed on animals and people.
To avoid tick bites, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture recommends the following:
Apply a tick repellent containing at least 20% DEET to exposed skin and clothing.
Apply a product containing permethrin to clothing to kill ticks.
Stay in the middle of trails. Avoid contact with tall grasses, shrubs, fallen leaves, and logs under trees.
Check yourself for ticks often and remove any ticks before leaving this area.
Check your pet for ticks, keep pets on trails.
Bathe or shower as soon as possible to wash off and more easily find ticks.
Check your entire body for ticks for several days after you leave this area.
Deadly mosquito virus reported in eastern Mass.
By Nick BanninPublished: July 19, 2014, 12:39 pm Updated: July 19, 2014, 9:48 pm
LONGMEADOW, Mass (WWLP) — While Saturday wasn’t too hot or humid, like most of our summer has been, 22News found that our recent weather conditions have contributed to the arrival of a potentially deadly disease in the Bay State.
Mosquitoes: we’ve talked about them for months, and for the first time this year mosquitoes have infected someone in Massachusetts with eastern equine encephalitis, or triple E.
The Massachusetts Department of Health just confirmed that a July 15th laboratory test in Plymouth County has tested positive for EEE, a dangerous virus that can cause inflammation of the brain and in one third of cases, death.
Even though the only reported case of EEE in Massachusetts was more than 80 miles to our east, our chances in western Massachusetts of getting it just went up. But it probably wouldn’t be the mosquitoes bringing it here.
Birds are typically the long range carrier of triple E, taking the disease over many miles. Mosquitoes then bite the birds and become the local source for infection when they bite a human.
Entomologist Bob Russell of American Pest Solutions told 22News, “Mosquitoes are an unusual insect because bacteria can survive in its gut and then it can be regurgitated or come out in its saliva when it bites, and that’s how you get transmission.”
The best defense against EEE is avoiding a mosquito bite. Wearing long clothes, avoiding wooded or wet areas and wearing bug spray with the chemical DEET should help with that.