Tick removal

JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin
edited October 2020 in Pest & Weed Problems/Solutions

I'd be keen to know how people remove ticks from themselves. We moved from an inland country area with no ticks, to a coastal hinterland area with many. I'd say, between the 2 of us in 3 yrs we've had at least 10 each, firmly attached. Mostly so small you can hardly see them. We've tried various methods. Drown tick in lavender oil, then 1hr later remove with tweezers. Drown tick with Lyclear( tick and scabies cream) then remove with tweezers after 1hr. Usually use a bandaid to keep oil/cream on tick. Once tick is removed apply lavender oil or chickweed salve to help with welt, swelling, itching etc. Does anyone have some good advice we need to know about? I'm thinking for the last one I needed a cabbage poultice, swollen, itchy, angry and the little blighter was as small as a pin head!


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin
    edited July 2020

    Here, we take tweezers place them as close to the skin as possible, pinch & pull them straight out, preferably all in a smooth motion. There is always talk of the head being left in, but I am not sure where that idea comes from. They do not bury their head into skin.

    Applying something afterward sounds wise.

    Ten over 2-3 years is an interesting number. I remember one of our kids, when younger counting up to 17 pulled off on that small body. Thankfully this year, we had next to no ticks. I have only experienced close to this (no ticks) in Saskatchewan, where grass is much & trees are few.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You may be advised to save the bodies in case of a positive Lyme disease rash. The tick can be tested and the infectious bacteria can be identified. Doctors in Wisconsin were amazed when my uncle was able to provide the tick that caused his Lyme "ring."

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin

    @shllnzl Some folks do that. We often have a dedicated tick jar that we put the critters into. They will drown in rubbing alcohol. I don't know if that affects any testing, though.

    Any that don't hit the stuff at the bottom revive when the jar is opened, so beware if you do this.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    I use a suture tweezer, one side has 2 prongs and the other side has one prong in the middle. This allows you to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and get him out in one pull. The sooner you remove them the better. Longer than 24-48 hours increases your risk of acquiring any disease they are carrying.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I read that you shouldn't drown them on your skin as this can cause them to dump them stomach contents into your skin and give you any infection they are carrying. It is best to pull them out with tweezers immediately. They also have "tick keys" which are supposed to help removing them easily and nearly painlessly.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @Cornelius I did wonder that, re drowning them in something. There are a few different models of tick key on the market here but most seem to use tweezers. Like I said these are so small but gee they pack a punch, big, hot, itchy welts that eventually go down after a few days. No Lyme target rashes thank goodness. In Australia, most doctors believe, that Lyme Disease doesn't exist here! @shllnzl year before last we saw someone was doing a study, so we collected, placed them on cottonwool and froze them in a container. @LaurieLovesLearning it is a myth about the head being buried, that's for sure. @Itwickey thanks for the heads up re suture tweezers.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is the tick key I bought. I haven't had to use it yet.

  • EarlKelly
    EarlKelly Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    I picked up a dandy little item called the tick twister. For people and pets. It is L shaped and you slide it under the body of the tick and twist it. It safely removes the tick. Works great, you can get it at Walmart, Amazon, and your local vet. Has two sizes in the package for larger and smaller ticks. Highly recommend it.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    I've seen a tick head left behind. The person had reacted to the tick and it was swollen around the head. When the tick was removed there was a tiny dark brown spot where the tick had latched on. When the tweezers rubbed across it you could feel something there, kinda like a splinter. We looked at it with a magnifying glass and it was just like the head of the other tick that came off the same time.

    If hubby gets into the seed ticks, the tiny hatchlings are actually called larvae, he takes a jug of bleach to the shower with him. Puts bleach on a wet cloth and scrubs them off that way.

    Some EO help like tea tree, lavender, and peppermint.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Almost any biting insect can leave jaws/head behind if pulled off incorrectly. I have an early childhood memory of running down a dirt road barefoot, feeling pain, and lifting my foot to see a giant gray spider hanging from my toe. In my BG (before gardening) days, I was absolutely terrified of insects. In my fear, I actually touched the spider to pull it off my foot. My mother had to remove the jaws from my toe.

    **Gardening caused me to research the good and bad insects; knowledge helped me to get over most of my fear. I actually kill some bugs and worms with my bare hands now. Tomato hornworms require gloves.

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