Tick bites can be irritating and/or painful. They also provide entry points for secondary bacterial invaders or screwworms. Heavy infestations can damage hides and may cause anemia, particularly when the animal is in poor condition. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, the brown ear tick, damages the ears of cattle and other livestock, and some species of ticks cause tick paralysis. However, the most important risk with the introduction of exotic ticks is that they may carry the agents of exotic diseases. The greatest danger is when the tick acts as a biological vector, but pathogens carried mechanically can be introduced if they survive long enough.
Important tick species at risk for introduction into North America include Amblyomma variegatum, Amblyomma hebraeum, Rhipicephalus microplus (formerly Boophilus microplus), Rhipicephalus annulatus (formerly Boophilus annulatus), Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Ixodes ricinus.