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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) β€” Oklahoma’s wet spring has supplied a perfect surroundings for ticks.

“One factor ticks don’t love is being dry. It is excellent news for them,” mentioned Bob Brennan, Ph.D., biology division chair on the College of Central Oklahoma.

That might be dangerous information for folks and their pets, as a result of the pathogens many ticks carry could cause severe ailments.

“Oklahoma tends to be a frontrunner within the nation for tick-borne sicknesses,” Brennan informed The Oklahoman.

The chance of getting a tick chew is not restricted to hikers and campers within the woods. Loads of the bloodsuckers stay in city parks and neighborhoods.

Former UCO graduate scholar Mariah Small collected ticks utilizing dry ice traps and material drags for 12 months at Arcadia Lake and Mitch Park in Edmond and gathered roughly 2,500 ticks for her analysis, Brennan mentioned.

9 in 10 have been Lone Star ticks, which may carry brokers that trigger ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain noticed fever, the 2 most typical tick-borne sicknesses in Oklahoma, he mentioned.

Small’s analysis discovered about half of the Lone Star ticks she collected carried micro organism that trigger Rocky Mountain noticed fever and 15% carried micro organism that trigger ehrlichiosis.

Her sampling of ticks additionally confirmed established populations of the American canine tick, deer tick and Gulf Coast tick.

These 4 tick species additionally inhabit Martin Park Nature Middle, the most-visited park within the Oklahoma Metropolis park system. Gulf Coast ticks confirmed up three years in the past for the primary time, mentioned Will Hagenbuck, head park naturalist.

“The tick inhabitants appears to develop increasingly more as years go on,” Hagenbuck mentioned.

“This yr the tick exercise was even earlier. We began seeing ticks emerge the second week of March,” he mentioned. “And final yr we noticed all of them the way in which into November.”

All through winter, ticks feed on rabbits and small rodents earlier than rising in spring.

Hagenbuck mentioned park guests can keep away from many of the ticks by staying on the paths, however that is no assure.

Ticks are “a obligatory nuisance” as a result of they’re a part of the meals chain, Hagenbuck mentioned. They’re meals for reptiles, opossums, younger turkeys, bobwhite quail and different birds.

Tick-borne ailments might be harmful, inflicting the whole lot from a meals allergy to crimson meat to miscarriage to demise.

“It is actually essential whenever you get house to clean your garments and do a great tick examine,” Hagenbuck mentioned.

Look behind ears, on the collar line on the again of the neck, armpits, joints, waist and groin, and in your socks and sneakers. Adults could also be simple to identify, however nymphs would possibly seem like a freckle, he mentioned.

The sooner you examine, the higher, mentioned Brennan. Generally, it takes about 12 hours or longer for a tick to transmit a pathogen to its host, he mentioned.

He recommends a scorching bathe for your self and a scorching dryer in your garments. Dry clothes needs to be dried on excessive for 10 to 20 minutes. Damp clothes will want longer.

In relation to repelling ticks, DEET does not work, Hagenbuck mentioned. As an alternative he recommends making use of permethrin to clothes or picaridin to pores and skin.


Data from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

An AP Member Alternate shared by The Oklahoman.