photo © 2008 dr_relling | more info (via: Wylio)
In the last month, I've found four ticks on Spencer, three on me, and four and the dog! And now I can't shake the feeling that there's always a tick on me, which is kinda driving me crazy. I do NOT like ticks and my initial gut reaction each time I've found one is to call my dad. Then reality and sets in, I mean I am 29 years old, I pull up my big girl pants, and do what needs to be done.
Luckily, the first time I found a tick on Spencer we were in the Middle of Nowhere, North Carolina and Spencer's Great-Gran taught me the best way to remove a tick that's currently engaged in sucking the lifeblood out of you. I've since removed ten such ticks and her instructions have been so helpful. So if you'd are out in nature and find yourself with one of these little suckers attached to your body, here is what Spencer's Great-Gran says you should do.
The Best Way to Remove a Tick
1. Don't just pull it out!
2. Saturate a cotton ball with alcohol and hold it firmly over the tick for at least two minutes- longer if necessary.
3. Remove the cotton ball and use tweezers (your fingers will work fine if you don't have tweezers) to gently pull the tick out.
4. If it does not easily come off, saturate another cotton ball and hold it over the tick for another two minutes. Make sure you don't pull too hard- after the alcohol kills or knocks it out, the tick should be fairly easy to remove.
5. Repeat steps three and four until the tick is off your skin.
6. Once the tick is in the tweezers, light a match and burn it. There's good chance that if you flush it down the toilet and it's not 120% dead, it will work it's way back up the toilet and into your bathroom. Once you've burned the tick, you can either flush it down the toilet or immerse it in a small sealable container of alcohol and then throw that away. If you don't have matches readily available, sealing it in alcohol is just fine.
7. Saturate another cotton ball with either alcohol or some other type of disinfectant and clean off the bite. Ticks carry a lot of diseases and you want to get the area as clean as possible as soon as possible.
I realize that some of you who find a tick on yourself or child will not have immediate access to alcohol, so if you don't, the best thing you can do is use tweezers and try and grab the tick as close to it's head and mouth as possible, and pull it off. If you don't have tweezers, cover your hand with something like a baggie or paper towel, and then attempt removing it. Ticks are nasty little creatures and you really don't want to touch them with your bare hands if you can at all help it.
Hopefully you'll never get a tick bite, but if you do, I hope these tips will help you!