An invasive new tick has been spotted in Illinois and experts still don't know exactly what kind of damage it can cause to animals or humans. The tick is capable of carrying tick-borne diseases that affect cattle.

Dangers of Ticks in the Summer

Ticks pose several dangers during the summer months, primarily due to the increased outdoor activities and higher temperatures that facilitate their activity.

One of the main dangers associated with ticks is Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks).

Tick Paralysis is another danger. Certain species of ticks can cause tick paralysis. This condition occurs when a neurotoxin present in the tick's saliva enters your bloodstream and affects the nervous system, leading to symptoms such as muscle weakness, numbness, and difficulty breathing.

Some people may experience allergic reactions to tick bites, which can manifest as itching, swelling, redness, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

The latest tick to be found in Illinois is the Asian Longhorned Tick

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Asian Longhorned Tick

Illinois is just the 20th state to discover the Asian Longhorned tick since it was introduced in the US in 2017.

Asian long-horned ticks are light brown and very small. The fact that many are smaller than a sesame seed will make them tough to spot.

The tick is capable of carrying tick-borne diseases that affect cattle.

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According to Muddy River News, the tick considered an invasive species, was found on April 12 during routine active tick surveillance in Morgan County as part of an Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) grant-funded active tick surveillance program.

Asian Longhorned Tick Fact

A female Asian Longhorned tick can reproduce without a mate and lay up to 2,000 eggs at a time.

(The women in the room that I just shared that fact with said they wished they could reproduce without a man).

Tick Prevention Tips

  • Use EPA-approved insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin.
  • Check your body and clothing for ticks after being in tick-infested areas, including your backyard.
  • Place tick-infested clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
  • Take a shower within two hours of coming indoors, it could reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may help reduce your risk of other tickborne diseases.

What To Do if You Find an Asian Longhorned Tick

If you think you have identified one of these Asian Longhorned Ticks on an animal or anywhere, place the tick in a jar with isopropyl alcohol, and contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 217-782-4944.

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