BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There is a new tick in the area to look out for—the lone star tick. This non-native tick was first spotted in London, Ontario on a cat.
"Scientist believe that the lone star ticks are able to make their way to the Northeast and Canada by hitching a ride on the back of birds," Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said.
According to the veterinarian that found the tick, the cat and his family had never traveled elsewhere meaning the tick was already in the area.
Though it is still not clear how these ticks affect animals, Dr. Burstein says human habits can be drastically changed forever.
"People can become allergic for years or maybe even forever to red meat after they've been bitten by a lone star tick," she said.
There is no cure for this allergy outside of avoiding red meats all together and symptoms do not activate until hours after the meat is consumed.
To stay safe, Dr. Burstein recommends wearing long sleeved shirts and pants while walking in the woods, staying on the trail and wearing insect repellent.