Dr. Katelyn Kesheimer speaks on Mosquito Management at “Lunch and Learn” May event
Posted - May 14, 2017

By Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, ASSE South Plains Chapter Past-President (2012-2015)

Dr. Katelyn Kesheimer speaking in Lubbock at a “Lunch and Learn” event hosted by TTUHSC.

On May 2, 2017 Katelyn Kesheimer, Ph.D., Extension Agent in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Lubbock and Crosby counties.  She was the special guest speaker at a “Lunch and Learn” hosted by TTUHSC Safety Services in Lubbock.  The event was TechLinked to TTUHSC locations in Abilene, Amarillo, Odessa and El Paso and open to the public.  Those in attendance received 1 hour of continuing education credit at no cost.

Her presentation began with a discussion on the basic principles of IPM. Stop pests before they become a problem while ensuring a minimal impact to the environment and human health.  She explained that food, water and shelter are not only the requirements for human life, but also for the pests.  The key being that we understand the life cycle, ecology and habitat of each pest so that we will know how to control the population.

In mosquito IPM there are multiple control tactics:

  • Eliminating breeding habitats
  • Biological Controls, and
  • Pesticide use

Dr. Kesheimer recommended that we focus on Continue Reading »

Allergy and Flu Season is Here
Posted - Apr 22, 2017

By: Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter President (2011-2016)

Allergy and flu season are upon us. Seasonal allergies affect more than 35 million Americans, with each season having different allergens.

Manage your symptoms

Seasonal allergies describe allergies that change with the seasons due to plant pollination.

For people with seasonal allergies, symptoms come and go with the pollination seasons of certain trees, grasses or weeds.  In our West Texas area, pollen counts from Mulberry, Oak and Cedar can increase this time of year. Pollen levels can vary day to day, depending upon several factors, including the weather. High pollen levels can, in turn, affect the severity of symptoms.  Find out your current allergy report at

So what can you do?

Try to avoid the triggers that start the symptoms, including:

  • Change into different clothes to reduce pollen and mold spores after outside activities.
  • Dry clothing and bedding inside in the dryer instead of hanging clothes outside.
  • Wear glasses or sunglasses to protect the eyes from pollens and other irritants.
  • Stay indoors during the early morning hours (between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.), and on windy days when pollen counts are higher.
  • Barbeques and cookouts are fun, but air pollutants, such as smoke can be irritating.
  • Watch for food allergies. Your intake of candy and other treats can increase during the holiday seasons.

If you experience severe allergies or asthma, talk to your doctor about appropriate treatment options and asthma control medications to minimize symptoms. Your doctor will work with you to create an individual action plan that can help to lessen your symptoms.

Reducing symptoms and avoiding triggers will help keep allergies and asthma in check.

What if I get the Flu?

Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease, caused by the influenza virus, and is mainly spread by coughing and sneezing. The best way to protect you and your family from getting the flu is through immunization.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot. For children under six months of age, it’s essential to vaccinate other family members and caregivers. This will help to ensure they are protected from the flu.

Along with a flu shot, practicing good health habits can protect your family from the spread of contagious germs (viruses and bacteria).

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based solution.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with other individuals if you are sick or if they are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick and keep children at home if they have a temperature.

Remember that flu immunization works best when you get the vaccine before the flu season starts, as it may take up to two weeks before the vaccine is fully protective.



Date change for April Meeting!
Posted - Apr 11, 2017

Hello Chapter Members and Safety Colleagues,

We’ve had some scheduling issues this month so we are having to cancel our regular April 18th meeting at River Smiths.

We will be having a luncheon meeting on April 25th at Ruby Tequila South University.  Check out our Upcoming Events for more information.

Sorry for the confusion on our scheduling this month.  Hopefully we will be back on schedule next month.


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