Maine pest experts are searching for the lone star tick, a disease-ridden pest with a bite that can cause humans to become allergic to red meat. Spreading north from the southern states, this tick species is becoming a greater concern in the Northeast as more people are being diagnosed with the diseases they carry, as well as the odd, telltale allergy to meat.
“We do get them here occasionally in the state,” said Griffin Dill, pest management specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “What we’re trying to figure out is if we have any stable breeding populations.”In Maine, reports of the diseases the lone star tick transmits have increased in recent years.
In 2017, for example, 20 cases of ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection the lone star tick transmits that can cause life-threatening breathing difficulty and bleeding disorders, were reported in Maine, up from four cases in 2016 and just one case in 2015. And another lone star tick infection, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, sickened three people in Maine in 2017, four in 2016 and just one in 2015. If not caught early, this disease can lead to limb amputation, hearing loss, paralysis and mental disability.
To read the rest of “The tick that can make you allergic to meat is showing up in Maine,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Aislinn Sarnacki, please follow this link to the BDN online.