South Carolina public health and livestock officials have recently identified a large population of Asian longhorned ticks infesting a pasture at a cattle farm in York County. This invasive species of tick is not commonly found in the United States, and bites from these ticks have caused illnesses in people, animals and livestock in other countries. As of June 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports Asian longhorned ticks were first identified in the United States in 2010 and have since been found in 17 states. In South Carolina, a small number of these ticks were identified in 2020 on shelter dogs in Lancaster and Pickens counties.
To help state officials learn more about the prevalence of Asian longhorned ticks in South Carolina, residents are asked to carefully submit ticks suspected to be Asian longhorned ticks for confirmatory identification. This surveillance will help determine tick species presence, distribution, seasonality, and potential tick-borne disease risks.