Asian longhorn ticks are “well established” in the Fairfield Beach area, officials say

In a press release, the Fairfield Health Department said researchers at Western Connecticut State University’s Tickborne Disease Prevention Laboratory identified multiple Asian longhorn ticks from a dog owned by a resident of the Fairfield Beach area.

“Based on this finding, the WCSU research team yesterday conducted surveillance spot checks in the overflow grass parking lots of Penfield Beach and various areas of Jennings Beach and found significant numbers of these ticks in those areas, indicating that these ticks are now well established in the area of.” Fairfield Beach,” the June 21 press release said.

While Asian longhorn ticks have transmitted disease in other countries, they are not currently known to transmit disease to humans or pets in the United States, according to the department. It was said these ticks could pose a problem to livestock and spread disease in the United States at some point in the future

“The city is working with the WCSU research team to implement recommended mitigation strategies, and the city has already begun cutting back bushes, grasses and other vegetation from beachside sidewalks and other walking areas to reduce the risk of ticks attaching to people detain and pets,” the department said.

According to the Department of Health, this species of tick was first spotted in New Jersey in the United States in 2017, but later research found specimens from as early as 2010 in West Virginia. The first of these ticks in Connecticut were found in 2020, and six have been identified in Fairfield since September.

“This tick is particularly problematic because the female can lay eggs and reproduce without mating, creating large populations of ticks in an area relatively quickly,” the health department said. “After using areas where there are significant populations of ALTs, they can be found in large numbers in humans and domestic animals. According to experts, while these ticks bite people, they are not as attracted to human skin as other known ticks.”

With that in mind, the Department of Health is urging residents to take precautions to prevent tick bites anywhere in the city, including the beach area, when one might come into contact with grassy, ​​bushy, or wooded areas where ticks typically reside.

For more information on Asian longhorned ticks, visit the CDC’s website:

For more information about the WCSU Tickborne Disease Prevention Laboratory, visit their website:

If you have any questions, please contact the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3020.

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