(WJW) – An invasive species of tick known as the Asian longhorned tick has been rapidly spreading across the Ohio.
According to scientists from Ohio State University, the ticks originally arrived in 2021.
The ticks are believed responsible for the death of three cattle due to severe blood loss, according to Ohio State researchers.
The arrival of the Asian longhorned tick marks the first established population of this species in Ohio, OSU researchers said.
Scientists from The Ohio State University are now conducting research focused on monitoring and managing these pests.
“They are going to spread to pretty much every part of Ohio and they are going to be a long-term management problem. There is no getting rid of them,” said Risa Pesapane, senior author of the paper and an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State.
“The good news about the ticks, though, is that most tick control agents that we currently have seem to kill them. Still, managing them is not easy because of how numerous they are and how easily they can come back.”
While they currently pose no significant threat to human health, these ticks have shown a preference for large livestock and wildlife, such as cattle and deer.
Researchers have also identified tick-borne illness Anaplasma phagocytophilum in a small number of ticks, which can cause diseases in both animals and humans.
Originating from East Asia, the Asian longhorned tick was first detected in the United States in 2017.
The first tick in Ohio was found on a stray dog in on a farm in Gallia County in 2020.
During investigations, researchers collected nearly 10,000 ticks within a short period from the infested farm, leading to an estimate of over 1 million ticks in the about 25-acre pasture.
The Asian longhorned ticks possess a unique ability to reproduce asexually, with each female capable of laying up to 2,000 eggs. Moreover, all offspring can reproduce in the same manner, allowing for exponential population growth.