New, aggressive lone star tick expanding rapidly throughout CT

Animals and Wildlife

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)— Connecticut is dealing with a new, aggressive tick that’s expanding rapidly through the state.

Dr. Goudarz Molaei with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station told News 8 that the lone star tick is extremely aggressive and a human biter. He said it has rapidly expanded throughout the state.

It is thriving in Connecticut because there are plenty of hosts for it to feed on. 

“A lone star tick has access to hosts, large mammals particularly deer, coyote, and also wild turkey,” said Dr. Molaei.

The tick is from the Southeast. The species can also survive through the winter months. 

“We anticipate in a few years this tick species will move all the way to northern New England, even Canada,” said Dr. Molaei. 

Scientists at the lab study hundreds of tick cases a week. You are encouraged to bring your tick specimens to the Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven or mail them in.

Dr. Molaei said, “Lone star ticks transmit several disease agents. Those agents are responsible for ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, tularemia these are bacterial agents And for the transmission of a few and nasty viruses.”

If you are spending more time outdoor be aware of the areas that are infested with ticks.

He said, “Wooded areas, those areas would be those tall grasses and bush areas.”

Dr. Molaei added that the lone star tick is here to stay.

“This tick is not going anywhere. It has made home and it feels comfortable,” he said. 

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