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Lone Star Tick on the Rise, Can Cause Red Meat and Dairy Allergy

You can identify a female from the single white dot on its back

WFRV-TV - You may have spent your Fourth of July camping at one of our area's beautiful campsites.

But with rising temperatures local scientists are warning everyone to be on the lookout for ticks - especially one that can cause a change in your diet if it bites.

You can identify a female from the single white dot on its back.

Its roots may be in the south but it's popping up in more eastern states.

"This lone star tick is already here in Wisconsin. it's probably being moved into new areas by turkeys, by whitetail deer, but it's been here for at least five years, I think for longer," says UW Green Bay applied sciences professor Michael Draney.

The tick's bite can cause allergic reactions to red meats and sometimes diary products.

Research shows the allergy can last a few months or a few years.

"It's a little scary if I can't eat dairy, I don't eat red meat, says camper Linda Vegoe. "So that wouldn't be as bad for me, but it sure would be bad for my friends that I'm camping with."

Draney also says it can take almost 24 hours for the tick to bite you and  feed.

The longer the tick feeds the higher the chances that some pathogen will be transmitted. 

"I definitely think it's a good thing to have on people's radar, especially people who are out in the woods and avid outdoors people," says camper Meghan Justman.

"My concern when it comes to ticks is with Biggie," says Vogoe. "I actually cut his hair short so that we could look for the ticks because we do worry about them on dogs."

Next time you want to enjoy the great outdoors roll up those socks, wear long sleeves and make sure your dog isn't hiding any ticks.

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