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Lone Star Tick

Actual Size: (4-6 mm) un-engorged and 1/2” (16 mm) engorged

Characteristics: Oval; reddish-brown becoming slate-gray when engorged.

Legs: Juveniles have 6 legs; adults have 8 legs

Antennae: No

Wings: No

Habitat: Usually found in more rural areas and are often near big animals.


  • Cannot survive indoors.
  • Bites are painless and may go unnoticed for days.
  • Can cause people to develop an allergy to red meat, including beef and pork.

Lone Star Ticks in Salina

The lone star tick is distributed in a broad belt across the United States, an area that unfortunately includes Salina and the surrounding area. Bites from the lone star tick are painless and commonly go unnoticed. They remain attached to their host for as long as seven days until fully engorged with blood. While they do not transmit Lyme disease, the lone star tick does transmit bacteria that can cause several types of illnesses, including an allergy to meat.

Lone Star Tick Habitat

Lone star ticks are found in wooded areas and fields and are more common around homes and buildings in secluded or rural areas. Adults are known to feed on large mammals, especially cattle and white-tailed deer. It is an ectoparasite of a wide range of domestic mammals like cattle, horses, goats, sheep, cats and dogs, and poultry. Humans are also commonly bitten by all active stages. This species is rarely found living indoors, and if found inside, it will generally be discovered on dogs or cats.

Lone Star Tick Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The lone star tick is known to bite humans, and although they do not transmit Lyme disease, a bite from the lone star tick can cause people to develop an allergy to beef, pork, and other meat. This specific allergy is related to a carbohydrate called alpha-gal and is best diagnosed with a blood test. Therefore, if you suspect you have been bitten, an expert evaluation from an allergist familiar with the condition is recommended.

If you need more information on lone star ticks, contact your local tick control experts.

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