I have been blogging the past several weeks about foreign invader pests; most notably Asian hitchhikers that have arrived in shipping crates over the years. These are pests that are currently in our region or are expected to arrive in our region very soon. Being the conscientious dog blogger that I am, I feel it is important that my readers are educated and prepared if they come in contact with any of these critters which were previously unknown to them.

This past Friday we had a regular training session at our 7:15 am meeting. Our featured guest was a field representative from one of our chemical suppliers. His training session was about arthropods, primarily geared towards the spider world. Arthropods have 8 legs and 2 distinct body segments, unlike insects, which have 6 legs and 3 body segments. Anyway, it was a very informative training session. Ticks are also arthropods and he spoke of a tick now in our area that is becoming more and more prevalent. He really got me interested in knowing more about this tick; the tick is named the Lone Star Tick.

I was surprised because I had not learned about this species prior to this meeting. Oh, did I mention that I am Hunter, Loyal Termite and Pest Control’s K-9 termite detective? Most of you know me because you tune in to this blog once a week. If you are a new arrival; welcome aboard!

Let me tell you more about the Lone Star Tick. The Lone Star is different from other ticks in many ways. It is the only known tick that will harbor on the lawn in open sunlight. Ticks generally like to gather in tall grass, in shaded areas around the perimeter of a field or yard. This way when an animal or person rubs up against the tall grass the ticks will hitch a ride with the unsuspecting victim. The Lone Star will hang out in the open area, so if you are on a blanket sunbathing or having a picnic, this tick can get you. If you are bitten by one; most of the time, you will just have an irritating rash. However, the Lone Star is capable of transmitting all of the known tick diseases; Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever; about 10% of their bites affect the victim in one of these ways. Adult ticks are found on large mammals such as cattle, deer, horses, and dogs (Yikes!). The immature prefer to feed on birds and small mammals. All stages will feed on humans.

Recently, researchers are finding out that when some humans are bitten by a Lone Star, the saliva infects the human and causes an intense meat allergy. If meat is consumed by this group, they become violently ill; causing many to stop consuming meat altogether!

Be on the lookout for the Lone Star. The female is easily identified by having a white spot on its back. The male is noted by having white markings around the perimeter of his back. Always take caution with your children and fellow K-9’s when you suspect you are in tick territory. Your dog should be de-ticked daily. That’s what Daddy Nick and Mama Gena do for my brother dog Murdock and me after we spend any amount of time outside in the warm weather.

If you have any questions, you know who to call. Here it comes; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal! One more time; Who ya’ gonna call? Call Loyal! You got it!!

Until next week, this is Hunter, your favorite dog blogger, just wondering, What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!

Recent Arrivals that will define the Word “Pest” (Part 4 – The Lone Star Tick) in Virginia

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