Cattle Fever Ticks Reinvade the United States: What Has Allowed their Return?

Tom Koerner/USFWS

The previous post, Cattle Fever Ticks Make a Comeback in Texas, looked at the growing problem of these two species of disease-carrying ticks in the United States more than a half century after their elimination from all but a narrow buffer zone along the Texas-Mexico border.

 Significant changes have occurred in recent decades in Texas that have allowed the resurgence of these ticks, and the threat that they may reintroduce babesiosis (or cattle fever) to the US. This deadly animal disease is estimated to cost upwards of $1 billion every year if allowed to spread unimpeded in the US?

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Cattle Fever Ticks Make a Comeback in Texas

Cattle fever ticks were for the most part eliminated from the United States over 70 years ago. Now they are back and spreading well beyond the buffer zone established along the Texas-Mexico border designed to prevent their return. Techniques that succeeded in ridding the US of these dreaded ticks decades ago are no longer as effective at killing or even containing them.

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