Sickness from a tick bite is a regular concern for folks in Massachusetts during active season. When one thinks of a tick bite they usually think of lyme disease, however there is a population of a new to Massachusetts ticks they don't carry the bacteria that causes lyme but something else.

Man Finds Rare, Dangerous Tick On Him In Massachusetts: Lone Star Tick

Lone star ticks, known for the white dot on the females, are aggressive toward humans and cause a potentially life-long allergy to red meat called alpha-gal syndrome as well as other bacterial infections.


Alpha-gal syndrome

Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is an allergic condition in which people are allergic to alpha-gal, a sugar found in the tissues of all mammals except humans and other primates.


Lone star ticks may transmit diseases that could potentially be life threatening. Some diseases include ehrlichiosis, STARI, and tularemia, among others. Get immediate medical attention if you’ve been bitten. -healthline

My friend Luke from a small town in Western Massachusetts shared the following post via Facebook on Wednesday.


'Lone Star' ticks are increasing in Massachusetts over the last 5 years, they used to be confined to the South.

Lone star ticks are aggressive insects that hunt their prey. The greatest risk of being bitten by the lone star tick during the year is in the early spring through late fall. There are a few ways to spot them out in the wild: 

  • Adult females typically have a white dot or “lone star” on the back 
  • They have a more rounded body shape than other tick species
  • Their coloring ranges from reddish-brown to tan
  • Usually are found in tall grass, in the shade or at the tips of low-lying branches and twigs

The point of this post is to remind people the many dangers of tick bites and tick-borne illnesses. They are no fun and can be life threatening.

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

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