Watch out for scary new tick, plus update on lily beetle

lone star tick
Lone star tick on the tip of an adult’s finger. You can identify the lone star tick by the cream-colored spot on its back. Image courtesy Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo,

Two invasive insects — one that can make you sick and another that damages your lilies— are discussed in this month’s WNY Gardening Matters.

The publication is produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County.

Lone star tick

The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) is a scary tick that is now in New York State, according to Lyn Chimera in this article.

The bite of the lone star tick can trigger a very dangerous syndrome called “alpha-gal allergy” that causes a person to become allergic to not only the meat from mammals, but to all their products as well, including wool, dairy products and gelatin from their hooves.

This tick thrives in a wide range of habitats, from shady forests to sunny lawns or roadsides.

Making matters worse, it is aggressive. The lone star tick hustles toward its prey (such as a human), even across pavement or dry sand.

See the entire article on the lone star tick here.

red lily leaf beetle by
Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County is trying to control the population of the red lily leaf beetle, seen here, by introducing a particular wasp that is its natural enemy. Photo courtesy Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Help thwart red lily leaf beetle

The red lily leaf beetle damages lilies, but Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County is participating in a project to reduce their impact, explains Larraine Van Slooten in this article.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is using a particular wasp, a natural enemy of the red lily leaf beetle, to try to control the population of the pest.

They’re also looking for help with the project. They need someone with a garden near Delaware Park in Buffalo, who has lilies and is willing to allow the larvae of the red lily leaf beetle to develop on the plants. They would like to examine the larvae to see if the bio-control are working, which would be great news. See more details here.

For more information, contact Sharon Bachman, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, at

garden hose
Photo illustration by Connie Oswald Stofko

Conserving water

We’ve had a rainy spring, but summer can be dry. In the third article in this month’s issue, Mary Ann Bald shares tips on conserving water.

2 Comments on “Watch out for scary new tick, plus update on lily beetle

  1. Re: lone star ticks

    If you are bitten by a tick, please try to keep the tick, see the CDC website for extraction, and look at the following website for directions on sending the tick to the Cornell Cooperative Extension for identification,, so that if you do become ill, your primary care provider can give the appropriate treatment. My spending $25 for identification turned out to be a lifesaver.

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