Rare tick found in 24 Va. counties

Rare tick found in 24 Va. counties
The Longhorned tick has been found in more than 20 counties in Virginia in 2019. The right photo shows the size of the tick compared to a penny. (Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A tick first discovered last year on a beef farm in Albemarle County has now been detected in 24 localities in Virginia.

The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick ( better known as the East Asian or Longhorned tick) is mainly found on cows, horses and other livestock, according to State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Broaddus.

“In addition to being a nuisance, they also can be a health risk, especially to newborn or young animals," he said.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) urges people who frequent ares such as the woods and brushy areas to:

  • Wear long pants, with shoes and socks. Rubber banding pant cuffs or tucking your pant legs into your socks may keep ticks from creeping under pant legs.
  • 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.
  • If you believe you have found the Longhorned tick, notify your local office of the Cooperative Extension Service.
  • Check cattle, horses and other free ranging animals routinely for any kind of ticks and remove immediately. If found in quantity, call your veterinarian.

The tick has been reported in the following areas in Virginia: Albemarle, Augusta, Botetourt, Carroll, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Greene, Louisa, Page, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Staunton, Warren and Wythe.

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