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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Current Threats to Ohio Agriculture

Download a transcript of this video (in process)


Do you know your ticks, flying insects, or pesky diseases?
What should you be aware of this spring and summer to stay safe and healthy?

Invasive plants, insects and diseases are not new to Ohio, or any region for that matter. However, there are currently three major threats to Ohio’s agriculture industry. It takes all of us working together to keep Ohio and our fellow Ohioans safe. Learn more about how to keep you, your family, your pets, and livestock safe from these potential harms – Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Asian Longhorned Tick, and Spotted Lanternfly.

We have many free fact sheets available on Ohioline, including several that help us deal with existing and emerging pests and diseases without panicking.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) – Ohio is at the junction of two major migratory paths for birds (Mississippi and Atlantic). As Tim says, “We are a mecca for migratory birds.” That means there is risk for commercial and backyard poultry flocks in Ohio; and thus, HPAI could have a significant impact on the state.

A key to keeping Ohio poultry safe is biosecurity. Direct biosecurity means preventing disease spread from bird to bird, and from wild birds into a flock. Per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), bird species that have transmitted the disease in 2022 include the Canadian goose, great horned owl, bald eagle, mallard, and snow goose.

Indirect biosecurity means preventing disease spread from another source to the bird or flock. Make sure YOU are not the vector or transmitter of disease into your flock. Be thorough with sanitation; wash hands before and after handling birds, clean boots and tools regularly, etc.

In Ohio, there are five “medically important” ticks that affect humans and livestock. The Asian Longhorned Tick is currently a serious threat. It reproduces very quickly, because female ticks can lay eggs without the presence of a male tick. (This is called parthenogenesis.)

To prevent tick bites, use a personal protective plan for yourself and your family. Wear protective clothing (long pants, long sleeve, light colors which make it easier to detect a tick on you). Wear permethrin-treated clothing when possible. Use topical repellents.

If you find a tick on you or a pet, know the best way to remove a tick that’s embedded (use a tick tool or pointed tweezers), then contact your physician or veterinarian. Watch this short video on How to Safely Remove a Tick so you are prepared if necessary. You can also visit for more info about how to handle ticks, mosquitos, bed bugs, and more.

Read on more more info about why we can...Expect more ticks in Ohio this season and beyond, as well as how to best prevent tick bites and deal with the pesky critters.

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) has moved into Ohio from Pennsylvania, extending itself along major transportation avenues. Although – it’s not really a fly, but more of a “plant hopper” and something closely related to a grasshopper. It feeds on woody parts of plants and other important crops in Ohio; and signs of damage include weeping of sap from feeding wounds and secretion of honeydew. You can look for egg masses on almost any hard surface outdoors.

If you find signs of SLF damage or the insect itself, contact your local Extension educator or the Ohio Department of Agriculture as soon as possible. Find your Extension county office contact info at

In this webinarTimothy McDermott, DVM, is an OSU Extension educator who presents updated information on tick research (including new species recently detected in Ohio and beyond) and the diseases they vector. He also discusses protection and prevention measures that can benefit humans, pets and livestock. His work is supported by a grant from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.