By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Officials with the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced Friday on social media the confirmation of the Asian longhorned tick in Gallia County.
The tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, was detected on a stray dog. The dog was later transported to a shelter in Canal Winchester, and the tick was identified on May 28 by The Ohio State University and sent to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for confirmation.
“Due to the nature of this pest, the female ticks can reproduce without a male, so it only takes one tick to create an established population in a new location,” said ODA State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “This pest is especially fatal to livestock, so producers should practice preventative measures and be on the lookout for this new threat.”
The long-horned tick is native to eastern Asia, and has become established as an invasive pest in Australia and New Zealand. The first confirmed U.S. collection of the long-horned tick was in New Jersey in 2017, but researchers have since determined that the tick has been present in the U.S. dating back to at least 2010.
So far the tick is not known to be a danger to humans in the U.S.
The tick can feed on many different types of animals, including mammals and birds, and is particularly unusual because it also has the ability to reproduce without mating. This reproductive feature can allow populations of the tick to grow quickly.
The longhorn tick is an invasive species that congregates in large numbers and can cause anemia in livestock. It can carry several diseases that infect hogs and cattle in Asia.
Livestock producers and owners should notify ODA’s Division of Animal Health immediately at 614-728-6220 if they notice unusual ticks that have not been seen before or that occur in large numbers on an animal.