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Haemaphysalis longicornis; ALT

Biology

  • One parthenogenic female (reproduces without males) can produce hundreds or thousands of offspring
  • Cold temperature tolerance creates potential for establishment in the northeast
  • Broad host range – but prefers cattle
  • Attaching to birds and wildlife allow ALT to spread quickly over an increasing area
  • Preferred habitat:  pastures, meadows
asian longhorned tick
asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis

Distribution

  • Native to Eastern Asia, invasive ALT became the highly problematic ‘cattle tick’ on Australia and New Zealand livestock
  • Since the 2017 discovery in New Jersey, it’s now in New York and many Northeastern states

map showing New York counties in which asian longhorned tick has been found

Impact: ALT damages livestock health and impairs milk production

  • Severe infestation causes anemia or death from blood loss
  • ALT feeding can transmit bovine theileriosis and parasites that cause babesiosis
  • Theileriosis can significantly reduce milk production and kill calves
sheep's ear infested with asian longhorned ticks
Closeup of ear from a 12-year-old female Icelandic sheep supporting all life stages of Haemaphysalis longicornis in Hunterdon County, NJ.

Management

  • Monitor livestock regularly for ticks – collect and submit suspicious ticks for identification
  • Typical tick insecticide treatments—ear tags, sprays, dips, pour-ons and powders—are effective against ALT
cattle with calves, many have ear tags
Livestock on pasture are particularly vulnerable to tick infestations. Check pastured animals regularly.

IPM for livestock ticks

  • Inspect animals regularly for ticks
  • When indicated, use timely application of insecticides
  • Minimize tick habitat in pasture and feedlots by keeping grasses and weeds trimmed
  • Pasture rotation
  • Deer exclusion limits re-introduction of ticks from wildlife
  • Chickens and guinea fowl in pastures eat adult ticks, but typically not nymphs
  • Opossums eat vast amounts of ticks
chickens running free in pasture
Poultry rotated in livestock pastures will eat adult ticks and reduce tick populations. However, they typically overlook the tiny tick nymphs. Photo: Vital Farms, vitalfarms.com/pasture-raised-eggs/