FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — According to the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, there have been recent reports of Asian Longhorned ticks in Northwest Arkansas. 

According to a press release from the organization, “The invasive tick can transmit the Theileria orientalis parasite, which attacks blood cells. ​​​​​​​The Ikeda genotype of this organism can be fatal to cattle. There is no treatment.”

Arkansas cattle producers are being urged to check their herds for unusual ticks and take measures to prevent transmission of theileriosis or other tick-related diseases.

“If they find a tick that doesn’t look familiar, they should take it to the county agent and bring all the information they can about when they found it, what animals it’s from and what pastures the animal has been in,” said Kelly Loftin, extension entomologist for the Division of Agriculture.

Jeremy Powell, veterinarian and animal science professor who conducts research for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, said that without effective treatments, prevention is the best medicine. Suggestions include having a tick prevention protocol for livestock and domestic animals, keeping pastures clipped and roping off wooded areas.

Both Loftin and Powell said awareness of these ticks and the diseases they could transmit by those in agriculture is key “so people can be looking out for it.”

To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website at https://aaes.uada.edu.