New kind of tick could find its way to Connecticut - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New kind of tick could find its way to Connecticut

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The East Asian tick. (CBS New York) The East Asian tick. (CBS New York)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A new kind of tick has been found on the east coast and it could bring up a host of new problems.

The East Asian tick can carry diseases and was found in New Jersey.

Officials are looking into whether or not the insect will venture up to Connecticut.

Yury Maciel-Andrews said she spends a lot of time outside between her children and her dog. She said she worries about what they may bring home.

"We go on the weekends when we go on hikes. That’s the times that we think about it," Maciel-Andrews said.

Tiny ticks are a big problem in Connecticut. Experts warn that they're everywhere.

"There's nowhere that we could go that we couldn't find ticks," said Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist.

The East Asian tick was found just to the south of the state and experts said they were able to survive the cold, long winter.

"It could be problematic," Molaei said.

How far they spread depends on the hosts they choose.

"If they choose birds, there will be no limit to the spread of the species," Molaei said. "It's not that difficult for the species to reach our state."

However, federal agencies are working to control and contain it.

"There is a good chance we can control this species before it becomes rather widespread," Molaei said.

The slow start to spring was a bit of good news because experts said the tick season may not be as bad as last year.

"So far this year, we received about 750 [reports]," Molaei said. "This is substantially lower than what we received last year. But it will be a typical year."

Maciel-Andrews said she'll simply have to keep her guard up.

"Knowing people here in Connecticut that have carried Lyme disease and the issues they have with their health," she said. "It’s something very concerning as I said as a parent to think 'OK, if my child to pick this up can live with this type of illness of conditions for the rest of their lives.'"

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