Doctors Warn About Lone Star Ticks

When we think of ticks we mostly think about the dangers of Lyme disease, but there’s one tick whose bite may leave you with another unwanted side effect: a severe allergy to pork, lamb, and beef. The lone star tick is much larger than the deer tick and is found throughout the South all the way up to Maine.

Recently reported by The Washington Post in an article entitled, “This bug’s bit could turn you into a vegetarian,” the tick’s bite incites an immune reaction to sugars in meat products that then cause allergic reactions in humans whenever they eat red meat. Symptoms include hives, redness, and swelling of the face, tongue, and lips and usually occur three to six hours after pork, lamb, or beef is consumed.  According to doctors, the allergy can be permanent in some cases, so it is important to protect you and your family.

Prevention of tick bites starts by reducing your exposure, so be sure to check out these helpful tips on how to prevent contact with all ticks:

  • Bathe or shower right after spending time outdoors and conduct a full-body tick check using a mirror to see hard to reach places such as the under arms, belly button, behind the knees and on the scalp.
  • Avoid wooded and busy areas with high grass and leaf litter, and apply repellent before participating in outdoor activities.
  • Check your pets for ticks daily and remove them as soon as possible if you see one.
  • Protect your pets by reaching out to your local veterinarian. They usually offer a variety of products for protecting animals from tick-borne diseases. Pets can carry ticks inside homes as they hide in their fur.
  • Place a barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn, patio, and play equipment and any wooded areas. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
  • Consult a professional to spray your yard perimeter to reduce tick populations.

To learn more about keeping your family and community healthy and safe from ticks and other vector-borne illnesses, visit You can also follow Debug the Myths on Facebook at and Twitter @DebugTheMyths.

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