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Tick, Tick, Tick Part 3 – How To Find And Remove Ticks

- August 9, 2017 by Mike Pettit (View all posts by Mike)

In the previous blogs, we addressed the types and geographic distribution of ticks, and how to avoid and prevent tick bites. In this blog, I’lladdress how to find and remove ticks from our bodies.

Finding Ticks – Immediate Efforts Recommended

1 – Take a very good bath or shower as soon as possible after being outdoors, preferably within two hours, to assist in determining if any ticks are crawling on you.

2 – Check all over your body for ticks – in your hair, under your arms, in and around your ears, inside your belly button, behind your knees, between your legs, around your waist, etc.

3 – Exam your clothes and gear, as ticks can cling onto these items, later attaching to you.

4 – If the clothes do not require washing, place them in a dryer on high heat

  • If clothes are completely dry, a minimum of 10 minutes in the dryer should kill the ticks.
  • If clothes are damp, additional time may be necessary.
  • 5 – If the clothes do require washing, hot water is recommended to more effectively kill ticks.

  • If the clothes cannot be washed in hot water, tumble dry on low heat for a minimum of 90 minutes, or high heat for a minimum of 60 minutes – the clothes should be warm and completely dry.
  • Removing Ticks – Immediate Efforts Required

    Note – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible – not waiting for it to detach.”

    1 – Using clean, fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure(see below).

    2 – Do not twist or “jerk” the tick, as this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin.

  • If the above happens, remove the remaining parts from the skin with the tweezers.
  • If all of the parts cannot be easily removed, the CDC recommends to leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • 3 – Once the tick has been removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

    4 – Dispose of the tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly with tape and throwing it away, or flushing it down the toilet.

    Note – The CDC recommends not crushing a tick with your fingers

     
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