A species of tick commonly found in the Pacific region, including New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii is rearing its ugly head in the eastern United States.

New York State public health and agriculture officials say the LongHorn Tick has been found downstate in Westchester County.  The insect, native to Aisa had not been known in the Continental United States before the end of 2017.

The arachnid commonly attaches to and feeds on livestock but is also found infesting dogs, cats and humans.

The new species has been confirmed in New York by researchers at Rutgers University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas.

As with the deer tick and other species, people are advised to wear long sleeve and long pants if they are going to be in areas that ticks frequent, like tall grass and brush.  People and pets should be routinely checked for insects that may have attached to a host.

Ticks should be immediately removed by pulling straight up, off the skin using tweezers.

Residents can use approved insect repellents, carefully following instructions.

More information about ticks, tick-borne disease and tick removal can be found by contacting your local health department.

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