Fever Ticks & Pests

Fever Ticks

Cattle Fever Ticks, known scientifically as Rhipicephalus (formerly Boophilus) annulatus and R. microplus, are a significant threat to the United States cattle industry.

These ticks are capable of carrying the protozoa, or microscopic parasites, Babesia bovis or B. bigemina, commonly known as cattle fever. The Babesia organism attacks and destroys red blood cells, causing acute anemia, high fever, and enlargement of the spleen and liver, ultimately resulting in death for up to 90 percent of susceptible naive cattle.

The fever tick has been a threat to American agriculture for generations. The disease caused enormous economic losses to the U.S. cattle industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since that time, the TAHC and the USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Veterinary Services works together to protect the state and nation from the pest and its repercussions.

Fever Ticks are reportable to the TAHC. To report a suspected or confirmed fever ticks, call your private veterinarian or click here. To learn where to take livestock for voluntary fever tick treatment, click here.

Information for Hunters

Landowners, lessees or other individuals that plan to move or hunt nilgai antelope, white-tailed deer, or other free-ranging wildlife located in a fever tick quarantined area must have the animals or hides inspected before movement.

Location Inspection Request Phone Number
Los Fresnos/Harlingen956-264-9804
Val Verde830-775-5452

Fever Tick Quarantines

Current Fever Tick Quarantine Notices & Maps

Past Fever Tick Quarantine Notices & Maps

Longhorned Ticks

The longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) is native to eastern China, Japan, the Russian Far East, and Korea. It is an introduced and established exotic species in Australia/New Zealand and several island nations in the western Pacific Region.

In late 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NSVL) confirmed the presence of the longhorned tick in the United States. Longhorned ticks are light brown in color and the adult female grows to the size of a pea when it is full of blood. Males are rare. During other stages of life, the ticks are very small, about the size of a sesame seed.

The tick has been confirmed in the following states: Arkansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Tennessee. Longhorned ticks may attach to a number of hosts including sheep, goats, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, white-tailed deer, Virginia opossums, raccoons, coyotes, red-tailed hawks, red foxes, grey foxes, striped skunks, eastern cottontail rabbits, elk, groundhogs, and humans.

New World Screwworms

New World screwworm disease is an infestation with the larvae of the New World screwworm fly (Cochliomyia hominivorax) that lives off the flesh of living mammals and, less commonly, birds. During the past century the presence of New World screwworm cost the U.S. livestock industry an average of $20 million annually.

In 2017, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the successful eradication of the New World Screwworm (NWS) from Florida.

New World Screwworms are reportable to the TAHC. To report a suspect or confirmed case you can call your private veterinarian or click here.