PDA

View Full Version : How to remove ticks?



ivanputski
02-21-2006, 12:35
I have never had to remove a tick from myself. What is the recommend way to do so?

kyhipo
02-21-2006, 12:41
I have never had to remove a tick from myself. What is the recommend way to do so?put a match to its body it normally comes out of your skin,try not to break the head in your skin:rolleyes: ky

neo
02-21-2006, 12:48
i pull them off,i make sure thead comes out,them clean area real good:cool: neo

nattyd123
02-21-2006, 12:54
WebMD has all the answers: http://www.webmd.com/hw/skin_wounds/hw88008.asp

Footslogger
02-21-2006, 13:04
I've had to remove plenty of them ...from me and from others. The technique is essentially the same regardless but you need to be a little more careful (thorough) if the tick has had a chance to burrow well below the skin surface.

Use a small blunt edge tweezer. Spread the skin around the tick apart a bit to allow the edge of the tweezer to grasp as much of the tick as possible. Then pull back gently. If you're lucky you'll get the entire animal, head and all. As an extra precaution I generally apply some hydrogen peroxide to the entry site with a clean Q-tip.

If you are concerned that part of the tick is still under the skin surface you might want to consult with your physician when you get home. Any part of the tick remaining under the skin will begin to decompose and likely become infected.

'Slogger

Toolshed
02-21-2006, 13:19
having become an expert now at removing constant and cintunally numerous deer and brown dog ticks from our brittanys, I have found that the old myth of putting a hot match against them or smearing vaseline on them does NOT work, or does NOT work RELIABLY. Though, I am open to any other suggestions that others fine are RELIABLE,

What I have found that DOES work RELIABLY is to go to a drugstore and get a pair of precision tipped or medical pointed tip tweezers- not just the regular old tweezers that cost $.99. These are $5-$6. If you put them under a magnifying glass, you will see why they are more expensive. They grip at the very end and are narrow enough to allow you to get to the head in the event the body tears off. Most cheap tweezers do not have the precision ends and if you have to dig the head out with them, it is like tryin to pick up a marble with 2 twigs - It doesn't work.

Anyways, try to grasp the tick (much easier to have someone else do this) as close to the head as possible and not the body. Once you have a firm grip, you need to apply slow steady light pullback pressure. Don't tug, pull hard or yank. You'll only separate the head and then have to dig it out, along with all the mouthparts. (if you have someone do it that has access to a magnifying glass the job becomes much easier- I have one on my pocketknife that is really helpful).
It normally takes at least a minute or 2 for the critter to release it's grip, and you might be tempted within 30-45 seconds to yank it out, but just keep applying light, but steady backpressure and it eventually releases itself.

I always have a sterilized needle ready in the event it breaks apart (I usually take a sewing needle and even sand or grind it a little finer) to get those almost microscopic mouth parts that are left behind.

Newb
02-21-2006, 14:21
You should burn them off with an acetylene torch. Make sure to grind the limb down to a nub and then cauterize it with a hot skillet.

Either that, or just pull it straight out...no twisting!

D'Artagnan
02-21-2006, 15:49
Knock on wood, but I've always been able to feel the little buggers crawling on my skin and catch them before they attach. I LOATHE ticks and absolutely hate pulling them off my Great Dane. For that, I use flat tweezers and rubbing alcohol.

RockyTrail
02-21-2006, 17:01
You should burn them off with an acetylene torch. Make sure to grind the limb down to a nub and then cauterize it with a hot skillet.


i am ROFL!:D

Fiddler
02-21-2006, 18:39
To remove ticks easily (though this is one more thing to carry) get a very small bottle and fill it with turpentine. A small dab placed on the rear of the tick with a Q-tip, cloth, or the finger causes the tick to back out in just a few seconds. Reading this thread reminded me of this, I also put it in the forum about Trail Tricks.

Blissful
02-21-2006, 20:59
I got one to back out by putting toothpaste on it (blocks the air pores, I think). If you can get it to back out rather than yank on it, less chance of it breaking apart. And make sure you monitor the bite for the next few days (for lyme disease).

Fiddler
02-21-2006, 21:48
The tick that causes Lyme disease (the Deer Tick) is a very small critter. Very easy to miss on a casual inspection. Here's how small they are:
http://www.town.oxford.ma.us/Boh/LymeDisease.htm
They look more like a speck of dirt than anything else.

SnakebiteSurvivor
02-22-2006, 04:21
Rather than tweezers (tricky), turpentine and matches (often ineffective), acetylene torches (effective, but.....) you can use a specialized tick-removing device, typically a small piece of metal with a slot in it to catch the tick and gently ease it off. Your local outdoor store probably has these, or you can get them from REI:

http://www.rei.com/product/729.htm

I have one of these and it does the job nicely (have removed at least a dozen ticks over the years. So far, no Lyme disease, knock on wood!)

greentick
02-22-2006, 05:17
And make sure you monitor the bite for the next few days (for lyme disease).

The "target" lesion can develop anywhere from 3-32 days post bite and occurs in about 75% of infected patients. Just keep in mind that it usually keeps expanding up to 50cm (about 20 inches). Just something to keep in mind...

If in doubt get checked out.

The blowtorch technique reminds me of a story I heard from a navy corpman about how they treated marines with crabs. Dab turpentine on the affected patch of hair, light it on fire, and stab the bleepers with an icepick as they run for their lives...

Turtle2
02-22-2006, 14:22
If one has the patience (I don't), place an alcohol soaked something over the tick and it will back out in just a couple of minutes. I have seen a completely embedded tick back out using this method. The small alcohol pads from a first aid kit work well.

carolinahiker
02-22-2006, 15:22
hmmmmm turprntine ill get some for my first aid kit.By the way how much first aid stuff do you folks carry email me at carolinahiker@aol.com and let me know.

strnorm
02-22-2006, 17:10
cover the tick with vaseline,it will back out,if you leave the head in you can still get sick

sliderule
02-22-2006, 20:52
Rather than tweezers (tricky), turpentine and matches (often ineffective), acetylene torches (effective, but.....) you can use a specialized tick-removing device, typically a small piece of metal with a slot in it to catch the tick and gently ease it off. Your local outdoor store probably has these, or you can get them from REI:

http://www.rei.com/product/729.htm

I have one of these and it does the job nicely (have removed at least a dozen ticks over the years. So far, no Lyme disease, knock on wood!)

You can easily make a similar device from a flat piece of aluminum can material. Just cut a piece about 1/2" X 1", then cut a long "V" in the narrow end. Round the corners. Weighs nothing, costs nothing, works great.

neighbor dave
02-22-2006, 20:58
:-? big ones? yank 'em off and laugh. the little ones? yank'em off with tweezers and run, and run, and run, really fast!!:jump :jump

SGTdirtman
02-26-2006, 17:58
anyone do anything to avoid being bitten? last year I started taking garlic pills about a week before I would hike, the day before I left I doubled the dose... (old army trick my dad taught me) you litterally sweat garlic and the ticks cant stand the smell and dont find you "appetizing"

seemed to work very well, ticks everywhere but none bit me.

Pacific Tortuga
02-26-2006, 18:23
I have asked this before with no response,how does DEET work on ticks? I know why it works on skeeters but they say to use it for lyme heads. Is there a entomologist out there? :confused:

SGTdirtman
02-27-2006, 13:01
I have had ticks on me before using deet, the thing is ticks dont have time to be discouraged by the scent like a skeeter. They just crawl onto anything moving by. And once they get on you they can very easily crawl to an area not covered by the deet and bite.

The Cheat
02-27-2006, 13:51
I have had ticks on me before using deet, the thing is ticks dont have time to be discouraged by the scent like a skeeter. They just crawl onto anything moving by. And once they get on you they can very easily crawl to an area not covered by the deet and bite.

SGTdirtman is right, ticks will crawl on skin with deet applied. You could put permethrin or something like that on clothes to get full body coverage. DEET on the skin, permethrin on the clothes is the best coverage.

There are two other alternatives to DEET: Picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The smell of DEET and the Eucalyptus bother me, so I stick with the Picardin. Had really good luck with that last summer, here in Lyme Disease central. Let me put it this way, my kids went to summer camp at the science center where Lyme Disease is studied. My son got Lyme disease earlier in the summer after a Cub Scout campout where I used DEET on him. For summer camp I used Picardin on him and Permethrin on his clothes. No ticks, no disease.

As for removing deer ticks, the ones with Lyme disease, only pulling them out is recommended. Don't use vaseline or a match. They spit out the Lyme disease germ when they are ready to get off you, or when they are burned, etc... So, you want them to be pulled off without planning to leave.

jlb2012
02-27-2006, 14:06
anyone do anything to avoid being bitten? last year I started taking garlic pills about a week before I would hike, the day before I left I doubled the dose... (old army trick my dad taught me) you litterally sweat garlic and the ticks cant stand the smell and dont find you "appetizing"

seemed to work very well, ticks everywhere but none bit me.

Another approach that I have used is to dust myself with flowers of sulfur - downside is that it stinks even worse than the garlic but I found it effective. These days I mostly rely on permethrin on my clothes - socks and pants especially.

attroll
02-28-2006, 13:49
You have to be careful when using the tweezers on them not to squeeze their body. Because if you squeeze their body it causes the tick to puke its stomach contents into you and that is defeating the purpose of why you are removing it.

Shutterbug
02-28-2006, 14:58
I carry a small bottle of Liquid Skin to use on blisters, but it also works well on ticks. If you paint the tick with the Liquid Skin, it will withdraw its head so that you can pick it off. Warning -- the Liquid Skin really burns when you apply it, but the burn lasts only a second or two.

Ewker
05-30-2006, 16:47
Rather than tweezers (tricky), turpentine and matches (often ineffective), acetylene torches (effective, but.....) you can use a specialized tick-removing device, typically a small piece of metal with a slot in it to catch the tick and gently ease it off. Your local outdoor store probably has these, or you can get them from REI:

http://www.rei.com/product/729.htm

I have one of these and it does the job nicely (have removed at least a dozen ticks over the years. So far, no Lyme disease, knock on wood!)

I was out this past weekend and that little tool was put to use many times. I am going to pick one up

The Solemates
05-30-2006, 17:40
a dozen over the years?!!!

I went this past weekend and must have removed at least 3 dozen! In one trip!! the ozarks in May has to be the most tick-infested place on Earth!

Old Hillwalker
05-30-2006, 19:32
Solo hiking is problematic. Eyeballing your entire body surface is nearly impossible unless you happen upon a full length mirror standing in the woods. However a tick you can only feel, embedded in your scalp is a major pain. My solution is to plaster it with vaseline and forget about it for an hour or so. then comb it right out. I believe that's the technique Antonio Banderas uses:D

Amigi'sLastStand
05-30-2006, 20:45
anyone do anything to avoid being bitten? last year I started taking garlic pills about a week before I would hike, the day before I left I doubled the dose... (old army trick my dad taught me) you litterally sweat garlic and the ticks cant stand the smell and dont find you "appetizing"

seemed to work very well, ticks everywhere but none bit me.

This method also keeps other hikers away, and doubles your donations at any hostels. Also, if other hikers with kinder hearts do let you stay at the hostel with them, you are forced by hiker law to by the first round... from the end of the bar.

Seriously, there is some bad, and very dangerous advice here. Check the webMD link above. DO NOT cover the tick with anything and DO NOT attempt to remove it with your fingers unless absolutely necessary. Either method can cause the tick to vomit into you. This is the best and most secure way of making sure you get infected with Lyme, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Spread the skin taught, use tweezers .... read the link above. PLEASE, DO NOT PUT ANYTHING ON THE TICK.

Toolshed
05-31-2006, 13:07
It is my understanding that Deet doesn't really repel insects, bu rather interupts the mechanism that female mosquitoes use to locate and zero in on you. I have heard that deet alone works haphazardly on blackflies, but it is the other ingredients that each manufacturer uses that is a repellant to blackflies.
http://www.cdc.gov/NCIDOD/DVBID/WESTNILE/resources/deetgen.pdf

Amigi'sLastStand
06-01-2006, 21:10
Biting insects use chemical, visual, and thermal cues to locate hosts. DEET is believed to work by blocking the chemical receptors for carbon dioxide and lactic acid, two of the substances released by our bodies that serve as attractants. Although DEET helps keep insects from locating people, there is probably more involved in DEET's effectiveness, since mosquitoes won't bite DEET-treated skin. However, skin only a few centimeters away from DEET is susceptible to bites.
Above from:
http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/a/aa042703a.htm

ktrout01
06-01-2006, 22:37
I was out this past weekend and that little tool was put to use many times. I am going to pick one up

I've had one for years. I also give them away as stocking stuffers. We got lots of ticks here in CT.