Studies Show Ticks Can Cause an Allergy to Meat
When you think about tick bites, the first diseases that cross your mind are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Never in a million years would you think that ticks could have an impact on the way your body reacts to red meat. Eagle Pest Services is here to talk about the link between meat allergy and tick bites.
Can Ticks Cause Red Meat Allergies?
There are fairly new studies that have shown that a bite from the Lone Star Tick can cause an allergy to the carbohydrate alpha-gal which is found in red meat. Scientists haven’t been able to decipher how common this allergy is or why the Lone Star Tick can cause it, but their studies have shown that some people develop antibodies that point to this allergy.
Alpha-Gal Allergy Symptoms
While most allergies to food happen almost immediately upon ingestion, the allergy to alpha-gal is different. The reaction doesn’t usually happen until several hours have passed which means pinpointing the cause of the allergic reaction can sometimes be very difficult. Early signs of a meat allergy include: metallic taste, burning/tingling/itching of tongue, headache and feelings of fear or confusion. You may then see the symptoms start to escalate quickly into trouble breathing, vomiting, throat swelling and diarrhea.
Lone Star Tick Identification
The Lone Star Tick is most often found in the southeastern part of the United States. It is known for the white spot on the back of adult females. They are known as a hard tick and are most active in the months of May-August.
How to Prevent Tick Bites
The best way to protect yourself against an allergy to Alpha-gal is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Here are some tips to keep you safe from tick bites.
• Wear the Right Bug Spray- There are several insect repellants out there, but they don’t all give you the protection that you need to keep ticks away. You should use a repellant that has at least 15-30 percent DEET, 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent lemon eucalyptus oil to keep ticks away.
• Dress Properly- If you are going to be in an area that is known for ticks you should wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. Tucking your pants into your socks will help you avoid any ticks as well.
• Check Yourself for Ticks- Once you get home, you should check yourself for ticks as soon as possible. Look in cracks like knee bends, groin area, armpits and behind the ears as these are the places they like to hide out.
• Keep Ticks Out of Your Yard- Keep your yard neat and tidy as ticks like long grasses. Prune your bushes and shrubs to make them less appealing as well.