What are lone star ticks?
Ticks are related to mites and spiders and are smaller than a penny. They have four stages of development: egg, larva, nymph, adult. They are active throughout the year, however, nymphs are abundant in the spring and summer months. During this time, they readily attach to, and feed on, a living host such as deer, dogs or humans.
The lone star tick gets its name from the white spot located on the backs of females. Traditionally considered a threat in the southeast and south-central united states, viable populations can be found as far north as Maine and as far west as central Texas and Oklahoma. New data shows populations in Wisconsin, too.
Lone star ticks can spread bacterial diseases such as tularemia, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever; however, studies show that this tick is not associated with Lyme disease. Tick-borne diseases can cause loss of appetite, joint pain, and neurological issues in dogs. In humans, however, flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and swollen lymph nodes may develop within 30 days of a bite. In addition, humans may experience a rash.
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