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Houghtaling Statement on Hearing Regarding Threat of Ticks in New Jersey

Following Monday’s hearing before the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on the prevalence of ticks and their threat to human and animal health, including the East Asian Tick recently seen in New Jersey, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth) released the following statement:

“As the weather gets warmer and people begin spending more time outside, it’s so important for us to take a closer look at tick control measures in our State,” said Houghtaling, who is a chair of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “It is particularly crucial this year in light of recent sightings of the East Asian Tick in counties across New Jersey, which was previously nonexistent in the United States. These ticks have been known to spread an array of dangerous diseases that can affect humans and animals alike. While it’s difficult to know exactly where these ticks exist in New Jersey, we do know that they can reproduce relatively quickly and without mates.

“There are various other species of ticks that are prevalent in our State, including deer ticks, which may put residents at a greater risk of Lyme disease; in 2017, there were 5,092 reported cases statewide. Humans can contract Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick. If left untreated, people with Lyme disease may experience heart or nervous system problems. I encourage all residents to learn about how to avoid tick bites by visiting the New Jersey Department of Health’s website.

“Our hearing on Monday marked the first significant action taken by the Legislature to address New Jersey’s tick population. The testimonies we heard from our guests will help us address the threats posed by ticks and develop methods to better educate the public on tick prevention measures.”