At least 50 premises in Zapata County along the Mexican border in South Texas are in a temporary quarantine area designated in early September to prevent the spread of the cattle fever tick. The quarantine, issued by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), requires that livestock hauled within or from the designated area first be inspected for cattle fever ticks, dipped and then permitted by either state or federal animal health officials.

The Zapata County quarantine zone joins two other temporary quarantine zones established earlier this summer in South Texas to stop the spread of cattle fever ticks that spread “cattle tick fever.” In addition to the temporary quarantines, a permanent fever tick quarantine zone runs along the Rio Grande river through eight South Texas counties, creating a buffer zone that separates the rest of the U.S. from Mexico, where the fever tick hasn't been eradicated.

If not contained within the buffer zone, fever ticks could become re-established throughout much of the South, Southeast and parts of California, their historic range in the U.S.