We live in 64 acres. I have 7 kids. We are gonna get ticks by the bucketloads. We had to quickly figure out how to get them off.
In our place, our nightly ritual involves doing a “tick check”. It involves everyone stripping down to his or her birthday suit and looking and feeling every crack and crevice to see if there are any little nasty critters hiding in there. We find them more often than we want to. Despite having two dozen free-range chickens (and when I say free range I mean like they go in out car, house, shop – kitchen once), five guineas and some ducks we still get a few ticks a week on us. So, we have become quite adept at removing ticks. Here’s what we do:
- Using pointed tweezers or a tool like this Tick tool grasp the tick as near to the skin as possible.
- Pull steadily until you can ease the tick out of the skin. Be patient; the long mouthpart is covered with barbs, so removing it can be difficult and time consuming. DO NOT pull back sharply; this may tear the mouthparts from the body of the tick and leave them embedded in the skin. (If this happens, don’t panic! Embedded mouthparts do not transmit Lyme disease.)
- DO NOT squeeze or crush the body of the tick; this may force infected body fluids from the tick into the skin.
- DO NOT apply substances such as petroleum jelly, nail polish, or a lighted match to the tick while it is attached. They may agitate the tick and force more infected fluid into the skin.
- Once you have removed the tick, wash the wound site and your hands with soap and water.
- Observe the bite site over the next two weeks for any signs of an expanding red rash.
- Tick attachment time is important; the sooner you can remove the tick the better. It has been historically state that removing ticks within 24 – 36 hours of attachment reduces the risk of infection (but this idea has been called into question recently).
- Testing ticks for infection is possible, but not recommended on a routine basis. You should consult your physician to see if you should save the tick after removal for further evaluation.
See this good video here:
Disclaimer: The foregoing information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or supersede patient care by a your healthcare professional.