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First Longhorned tick discovered in Arkansas

The Longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis (Photo courtesy: New Zealand BioSecure Entomology Laboratory)

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a Longhorned tick was found in Arkansas, making it the fourth state to be spotted in within the United States .

The identity of the tick was confirmed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, where it was sent in from a dog in Benton County through a research project at Oklahoma State University.

The Longhorned tick, an exotic East Asian tick, is considered to be a serious threat to livestock by the USDA, possibly causing stunted growth , decreased production, and death.

The tick has been known to infest a wide range of species and has the potential to infect a variety of North American wildlife species, humans, dogs, cats, and livestock.

In other parts of the world, the longhorned tick, or Haemaphysalis longicornis, is associated with bacterial and viral tickborne diseases of animals and humans.

Similar to deer ticks, the nymph of the longhorn tick is very small, making it harder to spot and allowing it to go unnoticed on animals and people.

The first confirmed presence of the longhorn tick in the United States was discovered in New Jersey in November of 2017, followed by Virginia and West Virginia.

The cases in Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, and New Jersey are not believed to be connected, according to the USDA.

State Veterinarian Dr. Brandon Doss released this statement following the discovery of the Longhorned tick in Arkansas:

Livestock producers, animal owners and veterinarians should notify the Arkansas Agriculture Department or USDA APHIS if they notice any unusual ticks, or ticks that occur in large numbers on an individual animal. We encourage livestock producers to work with their veterinarians to develop a tick prevention and control program.

To learn more about the Longhorn tick, click here.

To protect you, your family, and your pets from ticks you should always wear approved repellents, perform regular tick checks, and tuck in loose clothing.

Learn more about additional protective measures here.

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