The appearance of a tick on your favored pet can give you the heebies for certain. However, finding one attached to yourself can send you over the edge! I have on several occasions found ticks crawling on me, and now can sense almost immediately when I feel one on my skin. EW! And so it is, from time to time, that I have found them attached to me. Shudder… and they seem to prefer that soft tissue around my belt line, or the hairline of my head.
This year the authorities have been predicting a high tick season, due to the unusually warm winter and early spring. I think they are correct, because so far this spring I have found and removed two ticks from our bed, three ticks from myself, and HORRORS, one that was attached to me yesterday.
The cats and dogs of course are flea and tick free due to monthly applications of a preventive medication. However, this does not mean that they are not carriers of the little beasties. I got one from the cat when I picked her up to put her outside earlier this week. Fortunately, I saw it on my shirt and dispensed with it immediately!
So what can you do when you have been latched onto by a tick? Well, read on, but warning… if you are squeamish then stop here.
You need to know this!
How to safely remove a tick
There are many ways to remove a tick, but only one recommended and sure way to safely remove a tick.
What you will need:
- Alcohol wipes
- Tweezers with long, smooth, pointed tips
- Fortitude and a steady hand
- Find the little sucker
- Clean the area with alcohol
- Grasp the little beast’s head down close to the skin… while trying not scream
- Now, gently but firmly pull straight out until the head and mouth parts pull free from your skin
- Clean the area with a fresh alcohol wipe and try not to pass out
- Keep an eye on the area of the bite to make sure it does not develop a redness or target shaped rash. If so, get to the Doctor for treatment right away.
THINGS NOT RECOMMENDED IN THE REMOVAL OF A TICK:
- Just wait it out. The little sucker will get full and fall off all by itself. This will guarantee the transmission of the spirochetes that give you Lime Disease if the tick is a carrier. Do you feel lucky?
- Burn its little backside with the head of a hot match. This is GROSS, and ineffective!
- Apply Vaseline. This is not gross, but is equally ineffective.
- Grab the body, squeezing tightly, and pull. This will cause the contents of the little creep to enter your bite site for certain. GAACK!
- Grab the little sucker and give it a good twist and pull motion. Do you really want to leave that head and mouth parts behind? I don’t think so.
Yesterday, I found an infant, or nymph, sized tick along that belt line I told you about.
It was the size of the one on the right.
I used the preferred method, but unfortunately the little sucker has left me with a parting gift… So this afternoon at 4:15PM I have an appointment with the Doc to have his little head removed.
Last night I told Bob that I will be ordering guinea hens. Strangely, this time he didn’t argue with me. :)
Yup! That aught-about do it!
So what is it that can make your hair stand on end?
- Four (surprising) places ticks hang out (thetickthatbitme.com)
- Tick Season Starts Early: How to Protect Yourself and Your Pet (webmd.com)
- Lesson in life from a lowly tick (weeklycoolthings.wordpress.com)