News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

First specimen of invasive species of tick found in Illinois

Nymph and adult female specimens of Asian longhorned ticks.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nymph and adult female specimens of Asian longhorned ticks.

The first specimen of an invasive species of tick was found recently in Illinois.

Asian longhorn ticks, which were introduced in the United States in 2017, are brown, very small and rapidly reproduce.

One was found in April during a routine tick surveillance program in Morgan County in central Illinois. Its identification was confirmed by entomologists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, and two more were found through additional surveillance later that month.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports the species’ risks to humans remain unclear, but they are working closely with the Department of Agriculture to monitor the spread of Asian longhorn ticks.

The species is reported to carry diseases which can affect cattle.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian Dr. Mark Ernst says that — in severe cases of infestation — livestock death has been reported, and that farmers should develop management plans with their veterinarians.

Related Content