First longhorned tick confirmed in Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- Officials are confirming the first discovery of a longhorned tick in Maryland.

The Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that the tick was found on a deer in Washington County.

The invasive species found in eight other states is also known as the East Asian or bush tick. Officials are warning people to take precautions and report unusual ticks and high concentrations of bites.

State Veterinarian Dr. Michael Radebaugh says the species is "known to cling to hosts in high numbers." If too many attach to an animal, he warns it could cause "stunted growth, decreased production, major blood loss" and could potentially spread diseases.

Longhorn ticks are known to carry diseases in their natural habitat, but officials say those found in this country haven't been carrying infectious pathogens.