Often the mere thought of a tick is enough to make you shudder. This is mainly because they are blood-sucking insects rather than the way they look.
Ticks are generally found in long grass, this is why your pets are likely to pick them up regularly and you may get them as well. The occasional one can’t really be avoided, but, if you’re collecting a lot of them you need to speak to your local pest control expert.
In fact, ticks can live for an extended period of time on a blade of grass waiting for the right victim to come along. They manage this by staying in a semi-dormant state. It’s worth noting that ticks can’t jump, they simply crawl from the grass onto you or your pets and then decide which part of your body to bite.
You probably won’t feel them biting you, and they are small enough you may not even notice them at first. However, once attached they will suck your blood until they are full, then they’ll just drop off.
What’s The Risk?
This may leave you wondering what the risk is and why to bother removing them or getting the assistance of an exterminator.
Unfortunately, ticks carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, tularemia, and even Rocky Mountain spotted fever. That’s only a few of the diseases they could be carrying!
The good news is that these diseases are transmitted in tiny bits of blood that go back into your body while they suck your blood. It takes at least 24 hours before you will have enough of the bacteria to do you any harm; that’s why it’s imperative to remove ticks as soon as you find them.
Removing The Tick
Once you’ve found a tick, follow these quick steps and it will be gone in no time!
- Use a pair of fine tweezers and grasp the tick where it joins your skin, the closer the better.
- Hold the tweezers tightly closed and pull upwards. This needs to be slow steady motion. Jerking or twisting can leave part of the tick in your body which can lead to infection.
Important Tip: If you do leave part of the tick in your body you can try removing it with the tweezers. If this doesn’t work leave it alone and allow your skin to heal but monitor the area, should you feel ill or develop a rash you’ll need to seek medical attention.
- Once the tick is out you need to drop it in some alcohol as this will kill it. Alternatively, you can put it in a bag and seal the bag shut, tightly wrap the tick in tape, or simply flush it down a toilet.
- To finish scrub your hands and the area where you were bitten with a good antiseptic soap.
Even f you’ve removed the tick cleanly you should keep an eye on the area for a couple of weeks. If you develop any symptoms that concern you, visit your doctor.
Finally, it is worth noting that you can buy specialist tick removers, but in reality, these work in the same way as a pair of fine tweezers.