The Asian longhorned tick has been found for the first time in Connecticut during weekly tick monitoring in Fairfield County by researchers at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU).

Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

The invasive species can harm livestock and, where it originates in Asia, can carry deadly diseases. So far the tick is not known to be a danger to humans in the U.S.

Currently, only the single specimen has been collected in Connecticut, but the WCSU lab plans to expand monitoring efforts.

The long-horned tick is native to eastern Asia, and has become established as an invasive pest in Australia and New Zealand.  The first confirmed U.S. collection of the long-horned tick was in New Jersey in 2017, but researchers have since determined that the tick has been present in the U.S. dating back to at least 2010.

The tick can feed on many different types of animals, including mammals and birds, and is particularly unusual because it also has the ability to reproduce without mating. This reproductive feature can allow populations of the tick to grow quickly.

In its native range, the long-horned tick is a troublesome pest of livestock and is capable of transmitting disease-causing pathogens to humans. Currently it is unknown if this tick species can transmit pathogens to humans in the United States.