For The 1st Time Ever, Bat Ticks Have Been Confirmed In NJ
As if we haven't already been through enough in 2020.
For the first time ever, there have been confirmed cases of bat ticks in Mercer and Sussex Counties in New Jersey and yes, this could pose as a health risk to people, pets and livestock.
There are "hard" ticks who have a hard shell on them and are most commonly known as deer ticks and the carriers of Lyme disease.
There are also "soft" tickets that are described as "leathery" and "crinkled" and these are the tick species associated with the parasite of bats.
Always keep an eye out for any ticks but you should especially be aware if you have had bats removed from your attic, basement, cellar or anywhere else indoors.
If these ticks no longer have the bats to feed on, they will look for a new source.
“All ticks feed on blood and may transmit pathogens (disease-causing microbes) during feeding,” said lead author James L. Occi, a doctoral student in the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “We need to be aware that if you remove bats from your belfry, attic or elsewhere indoors, ticks that fed on those bats may stay behind and come looking for a new source of blood. There are records of C. kelleyi biting humans.”
However, the decent news is that according to Rutgers doctoral Student, Jim Occi, these ticks, "rarely bite people" because they prefer to feed on bats.
So it sounds like you, your pets and your livestock are only in danger if bats were recently removed within your home.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: If you do happen to be bitten by one of these ticks, health experts are asking you to save it so they can better understand the threat these little ticks have on humans. '
“Put it in some alcohol, record the date that you found it and save it and keep an eye on the bite mark and any constitutional symptoms like fever headache and rash,” said Occi.
The exactly health risk still remains unknown so call 9-1-1 just to be safe.
And if you are ever in doubt, it is always better to call an expert than to try and handle it on your own and possibly get hurt.