With all of the phone calls coming in already this year regarding ticks, I think its a good time to go over how to remove a tick. Fortunately ticks do not usually jump right onto a host and start feeding immediately. They will typically seek out a hidden (hair) area around the upper torso, in theory they will go for their victims head. In practice I have seen and had many tick bite encounters from myself to my wife and kids. Our property has a large grass field behind it where the vegetation grows high and out of control, this is an ideal setting for ticks because as you walk through the tall grass they can easily brush off onto you.
We all know that ticks can transfer disease to humans with the most talked about being Lyme disease which is probably the most common and severe one transferred from tick to human. It is believed that only the deer tick will transmit Lyme disease to humans and while we have those in Michigan they are not as common as the brown dog tick. Chances are if you can easily see the tick it is probably not a deer tick, the deer tick is not much larger than the period at the end of this sentence. A major problem when it comes to ticks is that people do not know how to remove a tick properly. Prompt removal is key to preventing the transfer of any disease from the tick to its host.
How To Remove a Tick:
- Grasp the tick with fine tweezers, as near the skin as you can.
- Gently pull it straight out. Be careful not to squeeze the tick when removing it which could result in more bacteria being injected.
- Clean the area of the bite with rubbing alcohol and inspect for any mouth parts that might remain.
The best way to deal with ticks is by preventing them from ever having the chance to bite you in the first place. There are several steps you can take to reduce the chance of a tick biting you. When you are outdoors during the spring and summer when ticks are at their peak, tuck pant legs into your boots/shoes, wear light colored clothing to make them easy to see, long sleeve shirts with tight cuffs, and liberal use of a quality bug repellent. You will also want to physically check yourself and your children/family members every night for ticks. A quick look is all it takes to notice a tick and prevent them from ever getting the chance to bite their victim.
The number one thing you can do is keep them from living in your yard with a quality tick control program. We offer one that is reduced risk to you but deadly on ticks.
Ticks are something that we have to deal with during warm spring and summer months so awareness is critical, people need to know what they are dealing with. Prevention, Identification, and removal is something everyone who spends time outdoors should know. There is no need to panic if you find that you have a tick that has bitten you, removal is easy when done quickly and properly. If you’re are ever in question of the species, or your ability to remove a tick seeking out medical attention is the best option.
Comment below and let us hear your tick story!