This Tick Bite Can Make You Allergic to Red Meat

Ticks are pretty much the definition of creepy crawlers: they’re tiny little buggers, you probably won’t notice when they bite you (meaning you’re always in for a surprise whenever you do somewhat accidentally locate them), and they’re extraordinarily difficult to remove intact. Any kid that wasn’t a city-slicker growing up remembers their parents yelling about different ways to suffocate the little rascals (peanut butter, toothpaste, nail polish remover) so as not to leave the head attached to your body when you inevitably yank the thing out with tweezers. (Yikes, rough times.)

But even if you grew up fearing a tick bite thanks to your parents’ warnings, here’s one more drastic reason to keep tick safety on your radar: a tick bite could actually change your immune system and your food tolerances.

Just one little bite from the Lone Star tick (named for the lone white dot adorning it’s flat backside) can cause you to develop a meat allergy for the rest of your natural-born life. Most meat allergies are triggered by consuming beef or pork, but can also be provoked by meat from goats, lambs, whales, and even seals. Symptoms can include developing hives or a rash, having major indigestion problems like vomiting and diarrhea, a runny nose with sneezes on the side, headaches, asthma, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Well, you can definitely find us covering ourselves in tick repellent every time we step outside.