Asian Longhorn Ticks: A Growing Menace for Livestock Producers and How to Counter It

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The female Asian longhorned tick dorsal and ventral view.

The female Asian longhorned tick dorsal and ventral view.

Some of you may be aware of a tick that is getting noticed a lot more in North Carolina, it is called the Asian Longhorn Tick often abbreviated ALT.

This tick is not necessarily new to this area, in 2010 it reached the United States and started to make its way around the United States. As of May 2022, it has been discovered in 22 different North Carolina counties, including Buncombe, Haywood, Rutherford and other surrounding counties.

The neat thing about this tick is that it can reproduce without a male tick needed. With that being said, the female tick can lay about 900-3,300 eggs at once, and those eggs contain only female ticks. Therefore, the population of these ticks can increase at massive rates.

With these ticks being able to reproduce at such massive rates, this is a concern for livestock producers. That much loss of blood on any livestock can cause poor growth and development, in some cases may cause diseases and in severe instances can result in death.

While all of this is a lot of information, there is still hope for you and your livestock! There are ways to prevent this tick infestation on your livestock. Some ways to prevent it is by treating them with Pyrethroid sprays or pour-on insecticides. As always, if you have any questions, you can reach out to your preferred veterinarian to choose a plan that fits your operation the best. Some other prevention strategies are to check your livestock regularly for ticks, keep the pastures managed so the grass does not get too tall.

For more information, visit NC State’s article, NCDA&CS Asian Longhorn Tick Article, or contact Skyler Murray at (828) 652-8104, or email skyler­