So far it's just on the East Coast, but an exotic new tick species could pop up in Texas this year and there are some things we need to know to protect ourselves and our pets.

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.

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

Here in Texas, the consensus seems to be that ticks are getting an early start in general because of a relatively mild winter and dry spells this spring.

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.

The four most common types of ticks in Texas are the Brown dog tick, American dog tick, Lone star tick, and the Deer tick.  They're all brown or gray and the suck blood, and if they puff up and then have an encounter with my dad they're likely to get squashed with a hammer.  Gross, gross, double gross.  Those were my summers growing up.

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.  It's just part of spring and summer in Texas, ya all.