According to the Star Ledger, the East Asian tick, also known as the Longhorned tick or the bush tick, was found on the Watchung Reservation in Union County, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture said Wednesday (April 25). The tick was collected at the site last May, but identification was not made until Monday.
It is still unknown how the tick, which was not previously known to exist in the United States, made it to New Jersey.
The Department of Agriculture said several local, state and federal animal health officials, as well as Rutgers University, are working to identify the range of the ticks and develop a plan to eliminate them from the Watchung Reservation.
The nymphs of the East Asian ticks are very small, resemble small spiders and are easy to miss, according to the Department of Agriculture. They are dark brown, about the size of a pea when full grown and can be found in tall grasses. They are known to swarm and infest a variety of wildlife as well as humans, dogs, cats and livestock.