Found a Tick? Don’t Panic. Here’s How to Safely Remove It

Woman walking with her dog in a heavily wooded area where ticks liveZivica Kerkez / Shutterstock

That there is a tick on you or on your pet, if you do not know how to remove it in the right way, you can make that ugly little bug worse and lead to an infection. Here's how to check and delete them safely.

How to check ticks

If you have spent time outdoors, especially in wooded areas, you may have come into contact with ticks. In tick-populated areas, ticks trail over dense foliage, grass, trees and shrubs, waiting for a warm animal like you, your kids or your pets to come for a walk before to ride for a walk and a snack. .

Ticks are not always easy to find and it is not unusual for them to remain undiscovered until you return home. They like to hide in dark areas. It means you have to control yourself (literally) from head to toe.

Comb your hair with your fingers, making sure to touch your scalp all the time. Check all your nooks and crannies and watch your back in a mirror. If you find one in an inconspicuous place, you may feel like a little crust (the ticks are tiny and rough before swallowing up after a prolonged diet). Check that it is a scab and not a bug!

On pets, you will have to do the same thing as on your head, put your finger in their coat. Check the belly and the places that a tick would like to hide, such as under the ears, behind the legs, etc.

Most ticks are brownish, but there are many types of ticks and it all depends on where you live. Different ticks transmit different diseases. Although not all tick-borne diseases affect animals, some can be, including Lyme disease. If you live in an area with a lot of ticks and a high incidence of Lyme disease, talk to your veterinarian about vaccines for tick-borne diseases, as well as flea and tick prevention combinations, such as pills. times per month.

How not to remove a tick

While it's important to check the "your pet" box as soon as possible, let's take a moment to point out what not to do. The CDC warns against the use Folklore methods. Here are the methods you should never use:

No heat: Do not use a match or hair dryer to heat the tick and remove it.
No chokingDo not cover the tick with nail polish, Vaseline or even soap.
No alcohol: Burning alcohol does not work either, do not try to kill it with rubbing alcohol or other solvents

Not only the techniques above do not work very well, but they also increase the chances that you were trying to avoid what you are trying to avoid: getting tick infection material in your body. The hot or stifling tick is more likely to lead to insect bites by releasing more saliva.

Let's see how to safely remove the tick and avoid unnecessary exposure to pathogens.

How to remove a tick safely

Illustration of the Center for Disease Control illustrating the removal of a tick with the help of a tweezersCDC

If you remove a tick from a pet or a child, you may want a second person available to help him stay still. If you manage the situation yourself, manage it as quietly as possible to help them stay calm. If you have a tick on a hard to reach area, ask for help to remove it. Do not panic if you can not get rid of it the second you see it, leave it alone and find someone to help you.

Here are the safest steps to follow to make sure you remove all the tick from your skin:

Use your tick removal tool or fine tweezers to reach the tick as close to your skin as possible –this handy tool combines tweezers for use on people with a split end that makes it easy to remove ticks from animals' coat. You want to pull up, removing the entire tick. Pulling the side or twisting may leave the mouth behind. Leaving the mouth in the skin can cause irritation.
If you are unable to remove all the ticks, you can use a tweezers to try and remove the buccal part. If it does not come easily, leave it and keep the area clean – the pieces will come out of the skin like a shine.
Eliminate the tick by dipping it in twisted alcohol to kill it and throwing it in the toilet or putting it in a plastic bag in the trash. Despite what you have heard, the CDC does not recommend keeping the tick for testing (as these tests are unreliable).
Wipe the area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, then wash your hands with warm, soapy water.

Again, it is important to note that the most important element in the safe removal of ticks is to remove it as soon as possible and to remove it cleanly by grasping it between the body mass and the skin to prevent it.

Posterior care: attention to rashes, fevers and body aches

After removing a tick, your foray into the world of big bugs is not over. Watch for where the bite has occurred, looking for a rash. If you, your child, or your pet have a rash at the bite site, fever, flu-like symptoms, painful joints, or swelling, it is essential to consult your doctor or veterinarian immediately.

These are all symptoms of an infection and, potentially, Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a serious disease caused by a bacterium transmitted by ticks fed to infected wild animals. If they are taken early and treated with antibiotics, most people will heal completely, but if they are not treated, they can cause a multitude of problems over time, including facial paralysis, meningitis, and others. conditions.

Ticks are pretty crude, and no one likes to find a small parasite attached to them, to their children or their pets, but if you check carefully after visiting an area where you might be exposed to ticks and that you remove them quickly, the risk of serious side effects are minimal.

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