Fever Ticks & Pests
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 suspect or confirmed case you can call your private veterinarian or 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.
|County||USDA Inspection Request Phone Number||TAHC Inspection Request Phone Number|
|Willacy||-----||956-443-6609 (8am-5pm) 956-908-9390 (after hours)|
Fever Tick Quarantines
Current Fever Tick Quarantine Notices & Maps
Past Fever Tick Quarantine Notices & Maps
- In the News
- Fever Ticks Confirmed on a Jim Wells County Calf
- General Information
- TAHC Fever Tick Brochure
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Fever Tick Vaccine Fact Sheet
- TAHC Rules & Regulations
- USDA Pest Alert
- USDA Fever Tick Website
- 8/19 TAHC Fever Tick Situation Report
- Previous TAHC Fever Tick Situation Reports
- Wildlife Inspection, Treatment and Movement Requirements
- Statewide Map
- Graphic: Fever Tick Life Cycle
- Poster: Watch for Ticks
- Texas A&M AgriLife Research: Eradicating Cattle Fever Ticks
- Texas A & M Tick Research Laboratory
- Texas State-Federal Lab Submission Guidelines
Fever Tick Maps
Graphics & Posters
The longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) is native to to eastern China, Japan, the Russian Far East, and Korea. It is an introduced/established exotic species in Australia/New Zealand and several island nations in the western Pacific Region. It can be a serious pest of livestock in these areas.
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. Other stages of the tick are very small, about the size of a sesame seed or even smaller.
The tick has been confirmed in the following states: Arkansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Tennessee. They have been found infesting 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.