Part 2 of tick series: protecting the family

In Southwest Farm Press

by Leilana McKindra, Oklahoma State University

With spring in full bloom and summer well on the way, Oklahoma families heading outdoors to enjoy the warmer temperatures should take extra care to protect themselves against ticks.

Though ticks are active year-round throughout the state, from now through the end of summer, hard ticks will be a main concern, said Justin Talley, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock entomologist.

“Our biggest concerns would be the American dog tick and the lone star tick because these two are involved with tick-borne pathogens,” Talley said.

The American dog tick has been linked to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

“Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a challenge because, especially on the eastern half of Oklahoma, you’re going to have high tick populations in areas that can harbor a lot of ticks and a lot of human contact,” Talley said. “Anybody who is going to a state park or simply out on their land needs to be aware we have a high incidence of RMSF.”

Meanwhile, the lone star tick is associated with multiple pathogens, including those connected to the Heartland and Bourbon viruses, which have been identified in Oklahoma within the last five years.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

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