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Invasive Tick Threatens Ohio Livestock
Ohio Ag Connection - 11/20/2023

An invasive tick species, the Asian longhorned tick, is rapidly spreading across Ohio, posing a significant threat to the state's livestock industry. This tick, known for its ability to reproduce asexually, has the potential to cause severe blood loss and transmit diseases to cattle, deer, and other animals.

Researchers at The Ohio State University have been closely monitoring the spread of the Asian longhorned tick since its first detection in the state in 2020. They warn that the tick's rapid reproduction and ability to adapt to various environments make it a formidable pest.

While the Asian longhorned tick appears to be less attracted to humans than native ticks, its potential to transmit diseases to livestock raises concerns for farmers and ranchers. The ticks can carry Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a bacteria that causes anaplasmosis, a potentially fatal disease in cattle. Additionally, they have been found to transmit bovine theileriosis, a parasitic disease that can cause severe economic losses for the livestock industry.

Researchers are currently investigating various methods for controlling the Asian longhorned tick population. They are evaluating the effectiveness of tick control agents, exploring biological control strategies, and studying the tick's life cycle to identify potential vulnerabilities.

The Asian longhorned tick's rapid spread and potential impact on Ohio's livestock industry highlight the importance of ongoing research and proactive measures. Farmers and ranchers should remain vigilant, implement tick control measures, and consult with veterinarians if they suspect their animals have been exposed to the Asian longhorned tick.

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