OKLAHOMA CITY- Since we are in the heart of tick season, many Oklahomans have probably had an encounter with one of those blood-sucking pests.
Most people try and avoid high grasses and areas where ticks may hide but experts warn that a different breed is becoming increasingly aggressive.
Susan Paskewitz, an entomologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said, “If they get a signal, CO2 or a little bit of movement, they may actually aggressively hunt you.”
Unlike Deer and Wood Ticks, the Lone Star Ticks won’t wait for you to come to them.
Paskewitz said, “Deer and Wood Ticks will be on the vegetation waiting for you to brush by before they can actually get on you. The Lone Star Ticks are a lot more aggressive and run for you.”
A bite from one could make you feel sick or even lead to a temporary red meat allergy.
Paskewitz said, “Showing up with everything from hives all the way to anaphylactic shock as a result of meat-eating. And he was able to link it back to being bitten by one of these Lone Star Ticks.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say these ticks won’t give you Lyme Disease but a bite could result in similar symptoms like fatigue, fever and muscle pains.
Experts say they want doctors and the public to be aware of the new threat.
Officials say Lone Star Ticks have been seen as far north as Maine and as far west as central Texas and Oklahoma.
To deter becoming a meal, they suggest wearing long pants and repellent that contains DEET.