This Common Tick Could Make You Never Eat Brisket Again
My oldest daughter received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology a few years ago. I am very proud of this accomplishment, however, there is a bit of a drawback to her extensive knowledge of this life science. She has a tendency to feed me more information than I want to know concerning run of the mill daily occurrences.
For instance, I really don't want an in depth description of what the surface of my smart phone looks like at the microbial level. I don't gross you out by walking around the house with my shirt off, please don't try to do the same with your 'phone is worse than a toilet seat' comparison.
Likewise, I don't need to know how maggots have been used in the past to help clean out the battlefield wounds of soldiers. If I cut myself shaving, please just hand me the antibiotic cream and don't apply several slithering maggots to my face.
BUT...yes, in all caps, the most recent biology-related revelation that my daughter passed along to me is straight from the Dark Side, (insert Imperial March music here). As she was checking one of our dogs for ticks, the conversation went a little something like this:
"Dad, did you know that there is a tick that can turn you into a vegetarian?"
"Uh, yeah, sure...let's go outside and find that pterodactyl I saw earlier."
"No dad, it's called the lone star tick, and if it bites you, it could make you badly allergic to red meat...forever."
So, I went online to research my daughter's claim, and, Oh My Gosh, she's right! The Lone Star Tick, according to our government's CDC website states: "Allergic reactions associated with consumption of red (mammalian) meat have been reported among persons bitten by lone star ticks."
This is horror movie material! This ranks above 'Poltergeist', 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', and gives 'Fatal Attraction' a run for its money. I'd rather watch non-ending reruns of Teletubbies than suffer this fate.
Come to think of it, if a lone star tick bit me and the only way to restore my ability to eat meat was through some sort of maggot intervention...BRING ON THE MAGGOTS.
The lone star tick is apparently quite common in the South and Southeastern U.S., yes, Texas is included. So, if you encounter a lone star tick, you are to do the following:
- Capture the tick
- Put the tick on a flat hard surface
- Take a hammer and whack the tick at least 50 times (one for each state it has invaded and for each state it hasn't yet)
- Get a stick, set it on fire, and burn the microscopic remains of the tick
- Take the burning stick and use it to light a fire in your grill
- Have a BBQ and eat some red meat
As for me, I'm through talking biology with my daughter. I'm scared next time she's going to tell about the mosquito that can make you allergic to chocolate.