Exotic Ticks Spreading Across Ohio

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Researchers and farmers in Ohio are keeping a keen eye on cattle and deer with the arrival of a new, exotic tick in the Buckeye State. 

The Asian longhorned tick is not deemed to be a threat to human health. But in 2021, their feeding frenzy on a southeastern Ohio farm left three cattle dead from severe blood loss.

Assistant Professor Risa Pesapane and other scientists from The Ohio State University first reported on the arrival of the tick and now are conducting research on monitoring and managing the pests. 

Asian longhorned ticks can reproduce asexually, with up to 2,000 eggs at a time. They will spread to "pretty much every part of Ohio," Pesapane says.

"There is no getting rid of them," Pesapane sayse. "The good news about the ticks, though, is that most tick control agents that we currently have seem to kill them."

Ohioans who think they’ve spotted an Asian longhorned tick can email ticks@osu.edu for instructions on how to collect the specimen and send it to Ohio State scientists as part of ongoing surveillance.