Lone Star Tick Spotted in Ontario

May 6, 2022

Action: Where appropriate, the ORFA recommends JHSC agenda item and H&S Bulletin Board Posting

This “very scary tick species” has been spotted in London, Woodstock and Lindsay. According to the Centre for Disease Control, the tick transmits a variety of diseases, including the Heartland Virus Disease and Southern Tick-Associated Infectious Disease, or STARI, a recently-identified illness similar to Lyme Disease.

It's the adult females and ticks in the nymph stage that most frequently bite humans. A recent study found the lone star's saliva contains a carbohydrate - alpha-gal - which sparks the development of antibodies in the human bite victim. These antibodies are triggered when the victim consumes meat that contains alpha-gal; specifically beef, lamb, and pork, and products derived from those animals, including milk and gelatin. The allergic reaction manifests one to three months after the bite. And the reaction is an intense one - anaphylaxis. Symptoms, which can occur as much as 10 hours after eating, can range from hives and vomiting to trouble breathing and dangerously low blood pressure. ORFA members are encouraged to add awareness to this tick to their grounds worker internal training programs. [More]