This is not a drill: A bite from the lone star tick—found predominantly in the southeastern U.S.—can cause people to develop an allergy to meat like beef and pork. Ticks are related to spiders and feed on the blood of people and animals. McCall Service in Tampa, FL, has the scoop on the lone star tick meat allergy and how it may affect you and your family.
Facts About the Lone Star Tick Meat Allergy
All it takes is one bite for the lone star tick to cause an allergic reaction to meat in some people. It can happen to people of all ages and cause allergic reactions to other meats such as chicken and turkey. This food allergy, known as alpha-gal syndrome, is quite rare in the United States.
Even though it is rare, a single bite from the lone star tick may cause a variety of symptoms in both children and adults. Some of these lone star tick symptoms include:
- Hives and itching
- Sneezing and a runny nose
- Swelling in the face or other areas
- Anaphylactic shock in really severe cases
You might not notice any of these lone star tick symptoms until several hours after eating red meat. If you have any signs, consult with your physician right away. But the best way to avoid the allergic reaction is to prevent tick bites in the first place.
How to Prevent Tick Bites
Wear white or light-colored clothing.
If you're spending the day outdoors, try to wear white or light-colored clothing. Ticks vary in color, from orange to brown and black. Wearing white or light-colored clothing can help them stand out. If you're wearing long pants, tuck them into your socks to keep the ticks off your skin.
Watch out for tick-infested places.
Ticks prefer woody and grassy areas and will also rest on overhanging tree branches. If you like camping and hiking, avoid going into thick brush and tall grasses where the ticks are lying in wait.
Check yourself for ticks.
Always check yourself for ticks after spending the day outdoors. Ticks prefer certain areas on your body and will fill up with blood as soon as they latch on. Be sure to check these spots and more to catch a tick before it bites you:
- Under your arms
- Behind your knees
- In and around your ears
- On your scalp
Get Professional Tick Control for Your Home
It's always best to avoid walking where ticks like to hide, but it's not always possible. If you have found ticks on your property, McCall Service in Tampa, FL, can help. Contact us to schedule an inspection with our pest control technicians. We'll treat your property for ticks and prevent an unwanted infestation throughout their most active seasons.