A Guide to Tick Removal - How to Remove a Tick the Right Way

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How to Remove a Tick the Right Way

There are a lot of unpleasant pests out there. No one wants roaches in their kitchen, and a termite invasion could mean thousands of dollars in damage to your home. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing more unpleasant than finding a tick attached to your leg and slowly sucking your blood. Gross!


Ticks aren’t just unpleasant, either: they can also be dangerous. Ticks are known to carry and spread a wide variety of diseases, including Lyme disease. That’s why tick control in and around your home is so important. And if you’ve been bitten by a tick, the best way to minimize your risk of contracting a disease is to remove the tick as quickly as possible.

Before you yank that tick off, though, it’s important to understand that improperly tick removal can make matters worse. It could lead to infection, or even increase your risk of contracting a disease. Don’t worry, though: we’ll explain how to remove a tick in this quick guide.


What Are Ticks

Before we explain how to remove a tick, let’s take a look at what ticks are.

First off, ticks aren’t actually insects. They’re in the arachnid family, making them more closely related to spiders than flies or mosquitoes. Ticks are parasitic creatures, meaning they can’t make it through their entire life cycle and reproduce without finding a host to latch onto.

Once a tick manages to climb onto a host, it will begin to drink the host’s blood. This process usually continues for about 5 to 10 days, at which point the tick becomes fully engorged with blood, detaches from the host, and falls off.


Symptoms of Tick Bite

Unlike a lot of bugs out there, tick bites aren’t actually painful. In fact, you generally won’t feel anything at all when a tick first attaches itself to you, bites you, and begins to feed. Considering that ticks fall off after 5-10 days, it’s completely possible for a tick to bite you, get its fill, and detach itself without you ever noticing that it was there.

However, it’s also possible to have a mild or severe reaction to a tick bite. At the most mild end of the spectrum, a tick bite can result in a small amount of redness around the bite area. At its worst, a tick bite can lead to contracting a serious disease such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms following a tick bite:

  • Bullseye-shaped rash
  • Full body rashes or other rashes
  • Muscle ache
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Any other unusual symptoms


Professional Pest Control for Ticks

While it’s possible to reduce your exposure to tick bites by wearing the right clothing (long sleeves and long pants) and using tick repellent, it may also be necessary to implement tick control measures in and around your home.

If you’re experiencing a significant number of ticks in your yard or in the immediate vicinity of your home, a professional home pest control company is likely your best option for tick removal. Eliminating a tick problem on your own can be incredibly difficult, but professionals can help.


Home Remedies for Ticks

If you encounter ticks or you’re looking to avoid them, there are a number of home remedies you can try. Some of these include:

  • Rubbing alcohol: If you find a tick crawling around on you or your pet but it hasn’t actually bitten yet, you can drop it into a small amount of rubbing alcohol to kill it. This is also effective for killing a tick after you remove it from your body.
  • Heat: Are your clothes covered in ticks after a walk through a densely wooded area? Put them in the washing machine and use a water temperature of at least 130°F to kill them.
  • Diatomaceous earth: This flour-like substance is made by grinding up tiny sea creatures called diatoms. When ticks encounter diatomaceous earth, it dries out their exoskeleton and causes them to die from dehydration. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on your carpet or around your home can be effective at eliminating ticks.
  • Combs: Checking yourself and your pets for ticks after a walk through a tick infested area is incredibly important. Check your scalp and your pets’ coats with a comb, and remove any ticks that you find immediately.
  • Garlic: Garlic works well as a strong tick repellent, which means that it’s possible to eat a garlic-laden meal and (anecdotally, at least) reduce your chances of attracting ticks later in the day.
  • Essential oils: If you want to repel ticks while out in nature but aren’t keen on using a chemical repellent, consider using an essential oil mixture. Try adding a few drops of basil, lemon, cinnamon, cedar, and/or lavender oil to a carrier oil (such as almond oil or coconut oil) and applying it around your wrists, ankles, and neck.


How to Remove a Tick


If you’re suffering from a tick bite, it’s important to remove the tick as quickly as possible. However, you want to be sure to do it correctly. If you squeeze the tick too hard, you could crush its body, thus potentially introducing disease-causing agents into the bite wound. If you pull the tick out too quickly or too hard, you could separate the body from the head, leaving the head lodged in your skin where it could potentially cause an infection.

To remove a tick, use a pair of fine-tip tweezers to grab the tick as close to the surface of your skin as possible. Then, pull upwards and away from your skin with even pressure. Don’t twist the tick or use a jerky motion. Once the tick has been removed, clean the bite area thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water. Lastly, be sure not to crush the tick with your hands: put it in a small container of alcohol until it’s dead, and then flush it down the toilet.

While it’s important to remove a tick as quickly as possible, it’s also essential to prevent tick bites in the first place. With proper tick control, the fear of a tick bite near your home can be a thing of the past. Contact Home Pest Control today to learn more about our tick control options.

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July 26, 2018

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