Dr. Bruce Noden discusses tick problem with Lions

Pictured from left are Dr. Bruce Noden, Program Chair Lion Rev. Dr. Christian Tiews, and Lion Duaine Janzen.

By DEAN CRAIG

Okmulgee Lions Club

 

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was an educational seasonal program regarding the dangers of ticks, mosquitos, and bedbugs, presented by Dr. Bruce Noden, Assistant Professor with the OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.  Dr, Noden graduated (Magna Cum Laude) with a BS in Biology in 1989 from Houghton College (Houghton, N.Y.), and a Doctorate in May 1995 from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He and his family spent 1999 to 2007 in Beira, Mozambique and 2010 to 2013 in Windhoek, Namibia, before joining the OSU faculty in July 2013.  His list of lectures and articles he has authored or co-authored is legion.

Dr. Noden presented a power-point program highlighting the problems experienced by tick bites, which are highest between May-August.  There has been a big increase in the tick population from 2000 to 2012, and a major problem during last year's season.  In fact, his power-point slide showed a young girl who had limbs amputated in 2015 due to tick bites.

Tick bites are rarely fatal but can cause dermatitis (an itching, swelling, inflamed condition of the skin) on the host.  In animals, the loss of blood can cause secondary anemia and sometimes death.  Ticks are more closely related to spiders than insects and can be distinguished from insects because their bodies are not divided into distinct segments.  Ticks have four "developmental" or life cycle stages known as the egg, larva, nymph, and adult.  Larva are sometimes called seed ticks and are slightly smaller than a pin head.  Nymphs are larger than a pin head.  Adults and nymphs have four legs, while larvae have six legs.

Dr. Noden stated that men are 1.5 to 2 times more apt to get ticks because of hunting, fishing, being in the woods, or being in high weeds or brush.

The names "dog tick", "deer tick", and "wood tick" are commonly used to describe many ticks because of their association with dogs, deer, and the forest environment.  These names are usually used in reference to the engorged (filled with blood) adult females that look much different in appearance than the unfed females, the males, and all other life stages.  After the female completes feeding, she will drop from the host and lay eggs on the ground in masses ranging from several hundred to thousands.  The eggs hatch and the larvae crawl onto the vegetation and transfer to a suitable host as it passes.  Now, is it any wonder that the tick population outnumbers the Chinese?

Dr. Noden had a hand-out listing methods of protection from ticks: (1) avoid heavily-infected tick areas; (2) wear protective clothing (wrap masking tape around your pants with the sticky side out.  Ticks will be captured on the tape); (3) use a repellent of 20-40 percent  DEET; (4) protect your pets and premises from ticks; (5) frequently inspect yourself and other family members for the presence of ticks, especially children, at least every two to three hours; (6) properly remove attached ticks (there were two products shown--a Tick Key and a Tick Twister).  Tweezers can also be used.  The important thing is to stop the potential for the tick to secrete disease organisms into the feeding site; (7) to prevent tick populations from building up in your yard, keep ticks off your pets, keep your yard mowed and prevent the growth of tall grass, weeds, or brush in fence lines and around shrubbery.

If you can not find a Tick Twister to buy, come visit our Lions Club and get acquainted with our Tail Twister, who probably cannot remove a tick, but he can remove the money equivalent of the price of a Tick Twister from you, and we all will live happily ever after.  "WE SERVE".

(Excerpts from OSU Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet).

June 11 - Board meeting.

June 12 - Installation of officers with PDG Clyde Thompson. Program chair is Dean Craig.

June 19 - Guest is Dr. Jake Walter, Ok. Geological Survey on Earthquakes/Fracking. Program chair is Robert Bible.

June 21 - Fireworks tent stocked

June 22 - Fireworks stand opens

Meetings are held at 12 noon on Tuesdays at the First Baptist Church, 5th and Seminole (gymnasium)

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