Uh oh, ‘exotic’ tick getting close

The East Asian or Longhorned tick Courtesy photo

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa confirmed this past week the finding of the exotic Haemaphysalis longicornis tick — otherwise known as the East Asian or Longhorned tick — in Virginia.

Worse yet, the tick appeared on an orphaned calf on a beef farm in nearby Albemarle County.

H. longicornis was found initially in New Jersey in late 2017. No known direct link exists from the Virginia farm to the area in New Jersey where the first ticks appeared on a sheep farm.

Virginia state veterinary officials will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal and industry partners to determine the extent and significance of this finding.

Livestock producers and owners should notify the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) if they notice any unusual ticks that have not been seen before or that occur in large numbers on an individual animal. Typically, ticks are seen in the greatest numbers in spring and fall, but can persist through all four seasons, especially in warmer weather.

Livestock producers should work with their herd veterinarians to develop a tick prevention and control program. Livestock owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804-786-2483.

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