NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Scientists are sounding the alarm about the growing population of Asian Longhorned Ticks, an invasive species on the rise in Connecticut.
According to scientists, these ticks are relatively new to the U.S., yet their population has quickly grown in Connecticut. Scientists said that when they go out to collect them, they often find hundreds in just minutes.
One reason for that is that every tick can reproduce by itself.
“In other words, all the ticks that we have are females,” explained Dr. Goudarz Molaei, the Chief Scientist of the CT Tick Surveillance Program. “Females are capable of laying all these eggs up to 3,000.”
If one tick can have 3,000 offspring, and they are all females and each of those has 3,000 more, that’s 9 million ticks. If each of those 9 million lays 3,000 eggs, that’s 27 billion. By just the fifth generation, we’ve gone from one tick to 81 trillion.
The Asian Longhorned Tick also likes to feed a little on one host and then move on to another, spreading diseases among hosts.
“It is involved in the transmission of up to 30 viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases,” Dr. Molaei said.
The tick often carries human diseases like the Hartland Virus, which is very dangerous to cattle and another disease that attacks man’s best friend.
“We now know that it is involved in transmission of a major parasitic disease to dogs to canines,” Dr. Molaei said.
Although many people believed that ticks were a summer problem, Dr. Molaei said there is no such thing as a tick season anymore, due to the lingering warmer weather.
“These are all the ticks that we have received today,” Molaei said, holding up several envelopes.