The Asian longhorned tick was first discovered in 2017, and since then, it’s been found in 11 states, mostly in the Northeast. It’s particularly worrisome to entomologist, because this tick is able to clone itself, which makes colonizing new locations that much easier. Self-replicating can also be deadly for hosts. In at least one case, a bull in Virginia died after thousands of Asian longhorned ticks on it sucked out all its blood.
It’s not in Minnesota – yet. But scientists say there is little they can do to stop its march northward. MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner was joined by two entomologists who specialize in ticks and vector-borne diseases, to talk about the risks and ramifications.
Thomas Mather is one of the leading entomologists in the country. Known as “The Tick Guy.” He studies ticks and public health at the University of Rhode Island.
Jon Oliver is an expert in vector-borne disease from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.