Imagine this: you’re relaxing in a hot shower after a long day fishing with your friends and you notice an unusual bump on your skin. That wasn’t there this morning. It doesn’t look like a skin condition. Ew…it must be a tick. With warmer weather comes more time spent outdoors. And with more time spent outdoors comes more encounters with unwanted pests, such as ticks. Especially when camping, hiking, or fishing in the woods, the chances of you or your pet being bitten by a tick are high. Since ticks can range in size from the diameter of a pencil eraser to much, much smaller, it is important to actively check for ticks after any time spent outdoors. Although their bloodsucking can be relatively harmless, some ticks do carry diseases and can have dangerous effects on your health. There are so many different methods out there that claim to be the best for tick removal. Unfortunately, most are ineffective or can make matters much worse. Timing is key when removing ticks, as the chances of developing Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses increase dramatically over a 24 hour period. This is why most common methods do not work. They may eventually cause the tick to remove itself from your body, but the most effective method assures that the tick is removed quickly. Below are a few of the most commonly accepted tick removal methods that DO NOT work, and why.

  1. Light a match to it
    A common misconception, holding a lit match against the end of the tick to scare it off does not work. While the fire may startle the tick, it is more likely to vomit into your bloodstream than detach itself from the skin. This can greatly increase your risk of disease. Nasty stuff.
  2. Paint it with nail polish
    Others believe that painting over the tick with nail polish or grease will suffocate the tick, causing it to fall off. Unfortunately, this may actually kill the tick, which is actually harmful. You want to remove the entire tick while it is alive.
  3. Twist the tick out with tweezers
    Some people believe that when a tick attaches itself to the skin, it twists its way inside. They argue that therefore, you should try to figure out which way the tick has twisted in so that you can twist it out going the other direction. This may be one of the worst misconceptions because it often leaves the live head of the tick inside of your body. The tick can then continue to suck your blood and cause complications.

The best way to remove a tick is to use tweezers. First, sterilize a pair of flat head tweezers with alcohol. Then, starting as close to the skin as possible, grab the tick and pull it straight out. Be careful not to squeeze the tick while performing the removal. Do not handle the tick with your bare hands, rather carry it with the tweezers to flush down the toilet or throw into a sealed bag in the trashcan. This is the easiest and most effective way to handle ticks on humans, but it can also be useful on pets. Though this method will work on your cat or dog, always check with your veterinarian before performing any sort of at-home removal. For more help with or questions about ticks or other pests, call Arrow Termite and Pest Control today at 1(800)569-2936 or 1(225)751-8900 in the Baton Rouge area or visit their website for more information. Click here! à