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Exotic tick found in Virginia: What you can do

On May 14, 2018 the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa confirmed the finding of the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (otherwise known as the East Asian or Longhorned tick) in Virginia.  The tick appeared on an orphaned calf on a beef farm in Albemarle County.

In late 2017 H. longicornis was found initially in New Jersey.  No known direct link exist 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 pet owners should notify VDACS if they notice any unusual ticks that have not been seen before or that occur in large numbers on and individual animal.  The adult Longhorned tick is dark brown in color and grows to the size of a pea when engorged.  The other life stages are very small and difficult to see with the naked eye.  Typically, ticks are seen in spring and fall, but can persist through all four seasons, especially in warmer weather.

If you find suspected Longhorned ticks, please contact VDACS or your Veterinarian and collect the ticks for identification.

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