State: Invasive tick species found in East Tennessee

Asian longhorned tick / Source: Graham Hickling, Ph.D., UTIA

ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- State officials announced on Friday that an invasive tick species has been found in Tennessee.

According to a release from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the Asian longhorned tick has now spread to 11 states, including Tennessee.

Two Asian longhorned ticks were found on a dog in Union County, and five were found on a cow in Roane County. The U.S. has been reported on 17 different mammal species, the release said.

“Tennessee has a relatively large amount and variety of ticks,” Dr. R.T. Trout Fryxell, Associate Professor of Medical and Veterinary Entomology for UTIA, said. “It is important to be diligent and keep an eye out for all ticks because many varieties can transmit pathogens or cause painful bites.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there is no evidence that the tick has transmitted pathogens to humans or animals in the United States.

Tick bite prevention tips

- Coordinate with your veterinarian
- Check pets and livestock for ticks frequently
- Remove any ticks by pulling from the attachment site of the tick bite with tweezers
- Monitor pets and livestock for any changes in health

Dr. Fryxell suggested putting the tick in a ziplock bag, writing down the date and where the tick was most likely encountered and storing it in a freezer. If any symptoms of a tick-borne disease begin to develop, take the tick to your veterinarian.