Invasive Species Found in Three Neighboring States

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 31, 2018) – The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick, also known as the East Asian tick, the longhorned tick, and the bush tick, has been found in three nearby states—New Jersey, West Virginia and Virginia. The Maryland Department of Agriculture urges animal owners to check livestock and pets for this new, exotic species, and to report any unusual ticks or high volumes of tick bites to the department’s Animal Health Program office.

“Though we have not had a confirmed longhorned tick sighting in Maryland, we know that it has been found in neighboring states and could be on its way here,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “In order to keep our residents and livestock safe, Marylanders need to be aware of this new, non-native species and keep an eye out for unusual ticks.”

The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick. Photo credit: The New Jersey Department of Agriculture

The USDA considers the longhorned tick a serious concern for livestock, including cattle, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, and many others. A large number of longhorned tick infections in animals may cause stunted growth, decreased production or even death. The longhorned tick also has the potential to carry illnesses that may affect both animals and humans, including Anaplasmosis, Q-fever, Piroplasmosis, and newly emerging infectious diseases like Japanese Spotted Fever and Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome.

In order to protect your family, pets and livestock, the department recommends routinely checking animals for ticks, especially if those animals have been outdoors. Any unusual ticks or high volumes of tick bites on an animal should be reported to the Maryland Department of Agriculture Animal Health Program’s office at 410-841-5810.

More information on the longhorned tick is available via the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s website. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s websitefor tips on how to prevent tick bites.