Now that the warmer weather is settling in, residents throughout Berkshire county and all across the Bay State of Massachusetts are being given fair warning regarding an influx of ticks that have resurfaced as health officials across the US reiterated that tick season begins from the early part of spring to late fall (aka October and November). A certain pest to be aware of: The lone star tick is especially aggressive during this time of the year.

The U.S. Center For Disease Control and Prevention recommends people must take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of tick-borne illnesses which could result in massive cases of Lyme disease, most particular  AGS (Alpha Gal Syndrome). Keep in mind, ticks thrive in grassy, brushy, and wooded areas, so make sure you perform a thorough check for bugs after going outside as you explore the wonders of nature. A necessary piece of equipment should include a can or bottle of EPA-registered insect repellent and it is well suggested you wear long sleeved shirts and pants for added protection.

 A surprising number of American adults have also developed an unusual allergy to meat and other animal products due to the bites of an aggressive tick species. People with alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) typically report allergic reactions hours after eating pork or beef. The symptoms might seem random for individuals who have never had issues with meat in the past, as scientists have once again determined the lone star tick has been deemed the culprit.
Close up of lone star or seed tick in macro on a male finger isolated on white
The lone star tick is a common pest in the region, accounting for over 90% of tick bites in the Southeastern states. These pests have made their way up towards the Eastern seaboard and to the Midwest in recent years. There were over 34,000 cases reported between 2010 and 2018 as this allergic reaction is connected to molecules that were found in animal fats and muscle. Some individuals developed such a severe allergy that even the smell of cooking meat could set off a reaction. It is also determined this red meat allergy is common to those who consumed beef or pork.
A recent report states that a woman from Georgia, Amy Shea, recently suffered an upset stomach and broke out in hives after consuming a plate of pot roast and this escapade resulted in a case of anaphylactic shock upon her arrival at the emergency room. Since that incident, Amy has recovered but she had to make severe changes to her diet due to a tick bite. Unbelieveable, if you ask me!

BOTTOM LINE: Take all necessary precautions before tackling your excursion in the great outdoors because some of these pests are waiting for your arrival and they will show no mercy in bringing their intended victims a slew of health problems. Remember, Only you can prevent this situation from getting worse!

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