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Tick Removal

Ticks are a disease carrying parasite which makes them dangerous, given their size. It also makes them hard to find. These creatures can be the size of a flea. Once engorged, they inflate to the size of a pea. By this point though, it's too late. The best scenario is to simply keep ticks off the body by covering exposed skin, along with the use of repellants.

If a tick should become attached to you or your pet, remove it as soon as possible. Prompt removal reduces the chance of infection by Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and Lyme Disease (LD).
Tick on human skin

  • Shield your fingers with a paper towel, use tweezers or wear rubber gloves. Grasp the tick close to the skin, and with steady pressure, pull straight out.

  • Do not twist or jerk the tick, as mouthparts may be left in the skin. Take care not to crush or puncture the tick during removal.

  • Use of a hot match or cigarette to remove a tick is NOT recommended as this may cause the tick to burst. Spotted fever may be acquired from infected tick body fluids that come in contact with broken skin, the mouth, or eyes.

  • Avoid touching ticks with bare hands. Tick secretions can be infectious. Spotted fever can be acquired through self-inoculation into a small scratch or cut.

  • After removing a tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands with soap and water.

  • Ticks can be tested for RMSF and/or Lyme Disease. Contact the a local Disease Program. Place the tick in a small jar or ziplock plastic bag, along with a few blades of green grass (to provide moisture). Store the tick in a cool place until it can be delivered.

  • Ticks can be safely disposed of by placing them in a container of oil or alcohol, sticking them to tape, or flushing them in the toilet.

Read also: Lyme disease

 

 


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