They’re Not Chigger Bites, They’re Tick Bites

Long Island’s New Tick Threat
Bugs don’t really bug me much but ticks are icky. They spread Lyme disease. And BMD. And now it appears they might interfere with my ability to enjoy a hamburger. Actually, I can no longer come in contact with any mammal-derived product because of a new tick-borne disease on the rise.

Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or Alpha-Gal for short, is an allergy to red meat and all other mammal byproducts affecting a growing number of Long Islanders. This allergy is caused by a bite from an infected lone-star tick. Those afflicted with the Alpha-Gal allergy must be constantly vigilant about the ingredients in foods they consume because an allergic reaction can be severe and even life-threatening.

shane-brocking
Young Long Islander Shane Brocking suffered over 150 bites from Lone Star Tick Larvae after stepping through a nest.

Previously it was believed that only adult ticks spread disease, however it has been confirmed that Alpha-Gal can even be spread by tick larvae. If you step into a tick larvae nest they can leave hundreds of bites on your body in minutes. The multiple bites often lead doctors to misdiagnose them as chigger bites. However, there are actually no confirmed reports of chiggers on Long Island.

For a more well-informed diagnosis, we recommend you contact the

Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center.

As of now, there are no treatmentsfor Alpha-Gal except to avoid ingesting any mammal-based products so please take care to identify and remove ticks!

Contact us today for a free consultation with a NOFA-Accredited, ISA Certified Arborist.

upc-admin-usherThey’re Not Chigger Bites, They’re Tick Bites