Farms.com Home   News

Livestock Recommendations for the Asian Longhorned Tick

By Teresa Steckler

Recently, the Asian longhorned tick was found in west-central Illinois. This invasive species can pose challenges to cattle populations in the area. It is important for cattle producers in Illinois to train themselves to identify the tick and be aware of the risks this pest brings to their livestock. 

Download an infosheet at go.illinois.edu/ALTfactsheet or explore more about the Asian Longhorned Tick.

Below are some recommendations for livestock producers.

Identification

ALT are light brown in color and are very small, often smaller than a sesame seed. They are difficult to detect because they are very small. The adult female is only about the size of a pea when it is full of blood (fully engorged). 

Species found on

Thus far ALT has been found on numerous domesticated and wildlife species hosts including: sheep, goats, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, chickens, black bears, grey squirrels, red and grey foxes, groundhogs, striped skunks, white-tailed deer, elk, opossums, raccoons, Canada geese, barred owls, great horned owls, brown boobies, mice, blue jays, and red-tailed hawks (USDA, 2024).

Environment

ALT favors low-lying swampy areas, wooded areas, and taller grasses. Large numbers of ticks can be found in areas with established populations of ALT where these areas converge.

Ticks on Livestock

 All stages of the life cycle of the tick can be present on a single animal at a given time. Ticks can be found on ears, brisket, udder, tail head/vulva areas, folds of skin; however, not all animals will be infested. 

Prevention 

ALT appears to be susceptible to most of the chemical products commonly used to treat other species of ticks on cattle. If cattle continue to graze pastures that are heavily infested, they may become reinfected as drug levels provided by treatment drop off. The length of time that any of these products will keep cattle from becoming reinfected is not currently known but will likely vary based on the particular product and the number of ticks in the pasture. Consult your herd veterinarian to develop a plan for exctoparasite prevention.

  • Mow pastures:  Mowing pastures will help keep ticks numbers lower than not mowing. Preliminary data suggests that the combination of mowing and chemical products can lessen tick burden on livestock.
  • Wooded areas: If ALT is found in wooden areas, livestock should not roam the area until late fall when temperatures have fallen and ticks become inactive.
Source : illinois.edu

Trending Video

Meet The Farmer: The Redekop Family of Creekwood Farms

Video: Meet The Farmer: The Redekop Family of Creekwood Farms

The Redekops are an egg farming family in BC's Fraser Valley. Watch as Fred and his daughter Laura show you around their farm, and take you inside their enriched barns.