The Asian Longhorned Tick has been found in two counties in Georgia, and that is causing concern for area farmers. Chattooga County Young Farmer Director Lauren Jarret says that Young Farmers got an update from the Georgia Department of Agriculture about the presence of the tick at their last meeting.
Jarret said, “At our meeting last week, Steve Brinson with the Georgia Department of Agriculture spoke about the the presence of the Asian Longhorned tick. “
It has been documented in Hall and Pickens County. The Asian Longhorned tick is native to eastern Asia, but in 2017, the USDA confirmed that the tick was present in the United States.
Asian longhorned ticks are light brown in color and are very small, often smaller than a sesame seed. They are difficult to detect, given their small size and quick movement. Unlike other ticks, a single female Asian longhorned tick can produce offspring—1,000 to 2,000 eggs at a time—without mating. That means individual animals could each host hundreds to thousands of ticks. This can cause great stress on a heavily infested animal and result in reduced growth and production. A severe infestation can kill the animal from excessive blood loss.
In the United States, the tick has been found in or near counties with large horse, cattle, and sheep populations. To protect against infestations, producers should complete regular tick treatments for their animals. If you spot any unusual looking ticks or large infestations, contact your local vet and report it to GDA Animal Health at 404-656-3667.
Keeping grass and weeds trimmed and clearing away brush on feedlots and pastures are important tick prevention practices.
GDA recommends the following advice to farmers, foresters, and those who frequent areas where ticks are abundant:
Wear long pants, with shoes and socks – no flip flops or sandals in these areas.
Check yourself carefully after strolling through likely tick habitats and remove any ticks immediately. If possible, have someone else check the back of your neck and other hard-to-see places.
Check cattle, horses, sheep, goats and other free ranging animals routinely for any kind of ticks and remove immediately.
Work to develop an appropriate tick strategy for your flock or herd.
Environmental control may include mowing, fencing, and appropriate environmental acaricide application.
While there are no approved insecticides for the ALHT in the U.S., many of the common permethrin preparations used in the country today are effective. Livestock producers must observe tissue withdrawal times for all insect prevention or treatment preparations used in or on food animals.