We’ve already warned you that the end of summer is the worst time for ticks and fleas. Yes, just as you think that we’re no longer having to worry about fleas and ticks. But sometimes things get so bad that there are actual breakouts of tick activity. That’s especially stressful when it’s a tick, for example, that’s hitched a ride on some poor critter and expanded its territory.
That’s exactly what’s happening with the Lone Star Tick–also known as a species of Wood Tick, and once known as a prominent species in Texas. In many ways, the Lone Star Tick is your usual bloodsucker. It has the typical lifespan, too, with plenty of activity starting from March through May before the creatures rev up again for July through August. The adult Lone Star Tick is fairly distinctive, though. The adults range from light to dark brown, and can get up to half-an-inch long when full of blood. The male has streaks and spottings around the side area of its body. The female has a prominent white mark on its back.
And, as noted, the Lone Star Tick is on the move. The creature has already expanded enough to be considered a South Central and Southern pest in the United States. That’s just been in the past two decades. The tick has been found as far north as Maine, and has moved west as far as Oklahoma. This late summer is seeing a lot of activity in Oklahoma–along with Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
If you need some good news, the Lone Star Tick doesn’t transmit Lyme disease. It can just give you a nasty rash that’s called Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. Pets are still at risk, though. This very aggressive tick can promote a blood cell infection known as canine ehrlichiosis. This talk of increased Lone Star Tick status is mostly measured by increases of reports of the disease (along with other tick-related illnesses). Alabama has more than doubled its rate of canine ehrlichiosis this year. So has Oklahoma and North Carolina. Georgia is close to making the same claim, and there’s definitely increased activity in those other states.
If you need help getting paranoid, we recommend DogsAndTicks.com–especially their “Diseases In Your Area” section. And, of course, we recommend knowing your ticks. Here’s a Lone Star Tick video to help get you going, with even more yucky facts…