Tick Removal Tips

A simple HOW TO on tick removal tips with five possible methods. Techniques for people and animals. Also included, follow up care.

Ticks are a disease carrying parasite which makes them dangerous, given their size. It also makes them hard to find. These creatures can be the size of a flea. Once engorged, they inflate to the size of a pea. By this point though, it's too late. The best scenario is to simply keep ticks off the body by covering exposed skin, along with the use of repellants.

For animals, there are several tick control products on the market. Some are in the form of a collar. Generally waterproof, they will still suggest that you remove them before baths. These work in two ways. They will kill and cause detachment of ticks already on your pet, and they will prevent new ticks from successfull embedding by numbing or paralyzing the mouth parts. Other products are in the form of a "treatment" where a measured dose of a powder or liquid is applied directly to the fur; in a repellant fashion.

Should the preventative measures fail, here are some traditional methods used for removal, whether human or beast!

{*note, any of these methods can be used independantly or in combination, and these are not listed in any particular order of preference unless noted.}

TWEEZER / FORCEP METHOD

By using a small pair of tweezers, grasp the tick by its jaws.Tug gently and see if it detaches.

SUFFOCATION

Select an oil or gel {petroleum} and apply a generous amount to the site, completely enveloping the tick. Leave it covered for about 10 minutes. If the tick is successfully smothered it will detach to simply get air.



*for animals, just try submerging them in a bath. This will also smother the tick.

BURN

The proverbial heated needle. Though, if it's hot enough you can burn the tick by touching its back end, the engorged belly part. This will almost always cause it to back out immediately.

Of course, you can improvise with these methods, too. One victim used a pair of metal eyelash curlers as forceps, to grasp the tick. They also heated the metal, by using a common lighter, to burn it. Between these two methods, it came out. This idea was loosely based on some of the Tick Removal Tools on the market as well. They remove ticks fairly easily without much pain or discomfort to the victim. They also reduce the risk of the following: injectile vomiting, and/or urination and defecation from the tick. Any of the traditional methods run the risk of transferring infectious agents by these means. Using forceps to extract the tick, at any stage, could accidentally compress its abdomen. Thus, causing all three effects. Using a Heat method can cause the gases and liquids in the tick's bowel to expand which makes them regurgitate hence, injectile vomiting. There are no visible signs of these events either. It's the fact of the increased risk for having been exposed to such infections as Lyme's Disease or Babesiosis. Both of which have long term health affects. This risk has a greater impact in regions of the country where Deer Ticks, for example, are more prevalent; possibly carrying Lyme's Disease. In these regions one may want to use exceptional care in removal by using Lesser Aggressive Methods.

LEAST AGGRESSIVE REMOVAL METHODS

Suffocation, Intradermal Blister Technique, and Straw & Knot

Attempt the Suffocation method first, for example. If this is unsuccessful, you might consult your family doctor to have it removed. They can perform a procedure called an

INTRADERMAL BLISTER TECHNIQUE. This is where an injection of Xylocaine with Adrenaline is administered intradermally. It will generate a large blister at the site. Ticks will release their grip due to the lack of blood now, and because of "positive pressure" from the temporary swelling. It is a shot but a small one. If you've ever had a TB test, the slight discomfort is comparable.

If this method is not reasonable for you, here's one more.You will need the assistance of another person if you are the victim. *this technique can also be used on animals.

STRAW AND KNOT METHOD

Use an ordinary drinking straw and place it at a 45 degree angle over the tick (the straw is simply being used as a guide to direct the knot). Next, take a length of thread and tie a loose knot at the top or midsection of the straw. Now, slide your knot down the straw to the site. Position the knot underneath the tick's belly, so that the knot will encircle the embedded part only. Slowly tighten the knot to close snugly around the jaws. Now, remove the straw and pull the thread in a steady upward motion. This will cause the tick to detach, without regurgitation.

Once the tick is out, via any of these methods, you may notice a small amount of blood at the bite site. It's either from the victim but more commonly the tick. It's easy to rupture the tick's abdomen when having to use forcep pressure to pull it out. In either case, it's best to at least wash the site well with an anti-bacterial saop. Follow up, when available, with an antiseptic.

Watch the site for any signs of redness, swelling, and /or weepiness within the first 24 hours. This is an indication of an obvious infection and it's relatively common when using Extraction methods. The tick's jaws can be partially removed, leaving the rest embedded.

The lesser aggressive methods will also leave the tick alive. It's understood that this is not the first and foremost concern of the victim. However, there is a benefit in this; by keeping the tick alive it can be examined for possible diseases. In the case of Lyme's Disease, if the tick is dead, it can ONLY be determined by virtue of its species that it's a potential carrier. If it were alive, a viable culture could be retrieved from the tick's bowel to determin if it is an actual carrier.

Lastly, it takes a long period of time, days normally, for a transference of these infectious diseases. You can take your time during the removal procedures to avoid mistakes. Particuarly if you live, work, or play in highly disease plagued areas. Even in the worst case scenarios, don't panic. There are early treatment interventions available. So "bundle" up you tick in a container and consult your physician when in doubt.

© High Speed Ventures 2011