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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Tick Facts

The Easiest and Safest Way to Remove a Tick is with Pointy Tweezers

Think of a tick as a little germ-filled balloon. Squeeze it toohard on its back end, and all the germs get pushed to the front end, which is attached to you by the tick’s straw-like mouthpart. Using really pointy tweezers, it’s possible to grab even the poppy-seed-sized nymphs right down next to the skin. The next step is to simply pull the tick out like a splinter. Other tick removal methods, like a hot match, Vaseline, dish soap and cotton, or various little key-like devices don’t work as consistently as pointy tweezers on all types of ticks. Remember to save the tick and try to identify it.


Ticks Crawl Up

Ticks are “programmed” to try and attach around your head or ears. On their normal hosts, ticks also usually crawl up; they want to blood feed around the head, neck, and ears of their host, where the skin is thinner and hosts have more trouble grooming.


24-Hour Windows

For most tick-borne diseases, you could have several hours to findand remove a feeding tick before it transmits an infection. Many of the disease-causing microbes transmitted by ticks need a “re-activation” period in the tick once it begins to feed. The germs eventually make their way into the tick’s salivary glands, and the tick spits them into you while feeding. Some infections, especially viruses, move into the tick salivary glands faster than others. Lyme disease bacteria may take hours to invade the tick’s saliva.


Clothing with Built-In Tick Repellent is Best for Preventing Tick Bites

This strategy can be especially effective for protecting children. Dressing kids in tick-repellent clothes every day is a safe and easy way to keep ticks from biting and transmitting disease. Commercially treated tick-repellent clothes last through at least 70 washes, while using kits or sprays to treat your current outdoor wardrobe can last through 6 washes. Tick repellent on clothing, not skin, is something everyone needs to know about to stay safe outdoors.

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