So far it's just on the East Coast, but an exotic new tick species could pop up in Idaho this year.  Yuck.

It's the first time the East Asian tick has been found in the US, and it was discovered recently on a farm in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and also on a deer reserve about forty miles away from that.  The agriculture experts there say this little bug could have a big impact on wildlife all across the country this year because it's spreading.

They tried to get rid of those ticks in Jersey, but the little boogers survived the winter and could keep spreading now that spring has arrived.  The good news is, so far this new-found tick is not carrying any diseases that they know of.  It's just a plain ole, run-of-the-mill, disgusting blood sucker.

Ticks can be especially pesky toward dogs, because they carry the risk of rocky mountain spotted fever, Lyme's disease and other things that you don't want in your house or your backyard.  Wet weather brings fleas and dry weather brings ticks, so either way the dogs are going to be scratching this spring.

In Idaho, the most common tick is the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick.  It carries diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, and tularemia, which is usually treatable with antibiotics but can be life-threatening.  All of those things could ruin a good camping trip in a hurry.

The new East Asian tick has a long way to travel before it gets to Idaho, but with airplanes and cars going back and forth it may decide to hitch a ride in our suitcases and crawl into our backyards and reproduce and fall on our dogs, and give our Rocky Mountain tick friend a run for its money.  Or blood.  Ewww.

Keep flea and tick collars and powders on the pets this spring and summer, and keep an eye out for one of those trendy new East Asian ticks. If you're feeling adventurous like my dad, squash 'em with a hammer.  Guh-ROSS.  Now, back to the happy thoughts!