I was thinking about ticks in a class earlier this week. And then I saw an interesting post on Facebook about ticks. So today I thought I’d write about ticks.
The best way to remove a tick is with tweezers or a tick spoon.
Ticks live in mostly wooded areas, but you can find ticks pretty much anyplace that animals travel through. So we’ve seen ticks in our yard since the deer and other animals can be out there.
There are many different ways to remove a tick. A few are safe, most are not. So I’ll go over why.
First there is some great info on the South Shore Hiking Trails site that explains what ticks are and how to safely remove them.
Tick should be removed with tweezers or a tick spoon. Pretty easy and simply. Gently grab the tick with tweezers and slowly pull it out. Trying to pull it out quickly may cause the head of the tick to stay in your skin while you’re ripping its body out. With a tick spoon you gently scoop the tick out.
The Centers for Disease Control’s directions on tick removal can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html
There are a number of other methods I’ve heard people suggest, like vaseline, a hot match head, and peppermint oil.
Will they remove a tick? Probably.
Are you removing the tick safely? Nope.
Why are vaseline, peppermint oil, a hot match head, or other methods not safe? When you use these methods the tick may release and crawl out on its own. But as it does so it regurgitates – it throws up inside your skin. Which increases your exposure to tick-borne illnesses like Lyme Disease.
If you’re like me and you love using essential oils, it’s best to use them to prevent tick and other insect bites in the first place. I make my own insect repellent which contains peppermint, as well as some other oils, to help repel ticks. You can also use essential oils to support your immune systems if you have been bitten or stung by a tick or insect.
If you are bitten by a tick, remove it and wash the area with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or iodine. If you want to save the tick to have it tested put it a resealable bag. See a healthcare provider if you are concerned that you may have been exposed to a tick-borne illness.