Year after being first found in Virginia, longhorned tick confirmed in 24 counties

Tick mainly found in parts of Western Virginia

By Maddi Dempsey - Intern

Virginia Department of Agriculture

RICHMOND, Va. - After being previously unknown in Virginia, scientists determined the longhorned tick is indeed in the state.

First detected in Albemarle County in May 2018 by researchers at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, they've since detected the tick in 24 counties, mostly in the western part of the state.

The Virginia State Veterinarian believes that new sites will be confirmed in the coming months.

“The tiny tick can appear on cows, horses, and other livestock,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Broaddus. “In addition to being a nuisance, they also can be a health risk, especially to newborn or young animals.” 

Here's the full list of 24 counties where the tick has been found:

  1. Albemarle
  2. Augusta
  3. Botetourt
  4. Carroll
  5. Clarke
  6. Fairfax
  7. Fauquier
  8. Frederick
  9. Giles
  10. Grayson
  11. Greene
  12. Louisa
  13. Page
  14. Pulaski
  15. Roanoke
  16. Rockbridge
  17. Rockingham
  18. Russell
  19. Scott
  20. Shenandoah
  21. Smyth
  22. Staunton
  23. Warren
  24. Wythe

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers the following advice to anyone who could come in contact with the longhorned tick:

  • Wear long pants and close-toed shoes
  • Rubber banding pant cuffs or tucking your pant legs into your socks may keep ticks from creeping under pant legs
  • Check yourself carefully
  • If possible, have someone else check hard-to-see places on your body

Although there are no approved insecticides for the longhorned tick in the United States, check livestock, friends, family and yourself often to avoid the harmful effects of the arachnid.

If you believe you have come in contact with the longhorned tick, notify your local office of the Cooperative Extension Service immediately by clicking here.

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