Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tick Season, Safe Removal; What You Need to Know


There are many myths out there about the proper way to remove ticks such as dish soap, alcohol, and twisting it, but these methods will usually cause more harm than good even if the tick does detach.
There are also some good ways to keep ticks away and some symptoms that you need to be on the look out for during tick season. 




If you have ever had a tick, then you know that these little blood sucking arachnids are nasty little buggers!

Since we live on a farm, we have them almost everywhere outside. I have treated the main yard and my animals, but you can never get them all.

There are a few ways you can protect yourself from ticks.

  • Avoid direct contact with tick infested areas such as wooded or brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. 
  • When you are walking outside, walk in the middle of and stay on trails. 
  • Use repellents that contain 20 - 30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing that will last several hours.
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing, footwear, etc. It remains protective through several washings. 
  • Shower within two hours to make it easier to find them. 
  • Conduct a full body search.
The Life Cycle of Ticks | Source



































There is nothing that is going to repel ticks 100%, and if you are in the woods, you may end up finding a tick, one still attached or a bite. Don't panic! Most ticks don't carry disease, and most bites don't cause serious health problems. It is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it to help reduce the risk of Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Lyme Disease | Source
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever | Source


Attached Tick | Source

If you search the web or even pinterest you will find tons of ways to remove ticks. Most of them will more likely cause more harm. I have seen some that say to smother the tick with gasoline, peroxide, nail polish essential oils, etc. Some even say to rock the tick or rotate it counter clock wise and even shake it! These are all bad things to do. Most of the time the tick will regurgitate its last meal into the open bite and could cause more problems. (Not to mention nasty!)

The safest way to remove a tick is with fine-tipped tweezers.

Removing a Tick | Source


  • Take the tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin on the ticks head.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure until the tick lets go. Don't twist, jerk or rock the tick. 
  • Take a picture of the tick once it has been removed in case you need to later identify the species.
  • After removing and disposing of the tick, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or warm soap and water. Don't forget to wash your hands and sterilize the tweezers too.  
Don't worry if a small piece of the head came off in your skin. If you keep it clean, the  bite area will heal itself and will come out on its own. 

If you can not get the tick out, call your physician. 

Some things you need to keep an eye on and could possibly be an infection are:
  • rash
  • fever
  • pain
  • swelling
  • chills
  • redness around the bite area
  • red streaks leading from the area
  • pus draining from the area
  • headache
  • joint pain only in the bite area
  • flu-like symptoms
Call your physician. Be sure to mention the recent tick bite, when the bite occurred and where you most likely got the bite. Show the picture of the tick you took as well. 

1 week old normal bites. (She also has a red birthmark here)

I am by no means a doctor of any kind. This if from my personal experience as an avid outdoors person and mother of children. 


AMR
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2 comments :

  1. HOLY CRAP! Seriously...my son has the same type of bites on the back of his neck. I had no idea where they came from. Thank you for this!

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! Hopefully your son gets better soon!

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