Rare tick inexplicably turns up in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A hardy species of tick that survived a New Jersey winter has inexplicably arrived in Arkansas, and entomologists are trying to figure out how.

The Longhorned tick is native to eastern Asia, but was discovered in New Jersey last August and again this spring. Others were later found in Virginia and West Virginia, but no one can explain how one showed up on an Arkansas dog. Oklahoma State University researchers confirmed the discovery last week and the Arkansas Agriculture Department late Monday warned ranchers to monitor livestock.

Ticks can spread disease in animals and humans.

Overseas, severe infestations have stunted growth in cattle and caused enough blood loss that cattle have died.

Arkansas’ and New Jersey’s health departments say they haven’t found any disease-bearing Longhorned ticks so far.