– Anyone who missed Rep. Donna Oberlander’s (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) recent seminar about the dangers of ticks and tick-borne diseases has another chance to attend the educational session on Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. at the Marienville Area Civic Association along Pine Street.
“With temperatures finally warming up, residents will be heading outdoors to enjoy our beautiful natural resources,” Oberlander said. “Unfortunately, that also increases the risk they will come in contact with ticks, which are carriers of Lyme and other diseases. To help educate residents, I am hosting an additional seminar about the dangers of ticks and tick-borne disease and ways to prevent the spread of them.”
The seminar will be presented by Scott Weikert, an expert from Penn State Extension.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that most people get from the bite of a deer tick. If left untreated, the disease can cause very serious physical and neurological problems that are hard to manage down the road. Lyme disease can affect several different parts of the body making diagnosis difficult. Symptoms often vary from person to person. Lyme disease can also affect family pets.
Early diagnosis is also important in fighting Lyme disease. Most cases of the disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics, especially if treatment is started early enough. However, left untreated or inadequately treated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system, resulting in increasingly serious complications and requiring intensive therapy.
The seminar will also include a presentation on the Spotted Lanternfly, an inch-long black, red and white spotted pest that is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam. Sightings of the invasive insect began in Berks County in 2014. It has since spread throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, which the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has designated as a spotted lanternfly quarantine zone.
“Many of our residents also travel to other parts of the state, whether to go camping or participate in other outdoors activities, and that’s why it is important to be aware of the invasive insect so that we don’t bring it into our area,” Oberlander said.
The insect primarily attacks grapes, apples, pines and stone fruits. Adults often cluster in groups and lay egg masses containing 30-50 eggs that adhere to flat surfaces including tree bark. Freshly laid egg masses have a grey waxy mud-like coating, while hatched eggs appear as brownish seed-like deposits in four to seven columns about an inch long. Trees attacked by the Spotted Lanternfly will show a grey or black trail of sap down the trunk.
Reservations are not necessary to attend this educational program.
Representative Donna Oberlander
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton