Here are five things you need to know about the New Jersey tick that causes meat allergies: the Lone Star Tick.

NJ.com covered a story about an Ocean County man who was experiencing frequent hives and terrible itching he described as 'four times worse than poison ivy.' After blood tests,it was discovered he was allergic to meat, pork and dairy.

The cause? This tick most commonly found in the southern part of New Jersey called the Lone Star tick.

If you were like me, and have never heard of this tick before - here's the lowdown:

  • 1

    Lone Star Tick is an Aggressive Biter

    According to NJ.com, not only is it an aggressive biter - it also has a wicked itch that can last for weeks or months. Since the saliva can be irritating, redness around the bite doesn't mean infection.

     

  • 2

    The Tick Does Not Transmit Lyme Disease

    While the tick does not transmit Lyme disease itself, it can transmit a Lyme-like disease called human ehrlichiosis which affects 3 out of 1 million people...so your chances are pretty low.

    It can form a rash that's similar to early Lym disease accompanied with fatigue, headache, fever, muscle and joint points known as STARI.

     

  • 3

    Identifying a Lone Star Tick

    Females have a white dot or star on the center of her back. Males on the other hand look similar to a deer tick.

  • 4

    The Lone Star Tick Meat Allergy ?

    NJ.com says the allergy is called Alpha-gal, which causes allergic reactions to meat, pork and dairy. It's not as recognizable as a peanut allergy because of its delayed effect. You may not experience anything for at least 2-5 hours. Good news: if you avoid the tick 5 years after you've been bitten - you're clear!

  • 5

    How to Protect Yourself

    Tick Info says the best way to protect yourself is using DEET-based repellents, wearing long pants and socks, tick checks, and removing ticks after you've been outdoors. If you are bitten, it's best to consult a doctor if you experience any symptoms.