There is nothing like that moment of discovering a tick on yourself, your family member or a pet. Ticks are disgusting enough on their own accord, but when they become attached and partially or fully engorged, the gross factor goes off the charts. Deer ticks, American dog ticks (wood ticks) and brown dog ticks are out in full force in Massachusetts as soon as the weather gets above the freezing mark. If you’re spending time outside, doing yard work, hiking or spring cleaning you may very well encounter a tick. Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro wants you to prepared when that inevitable moment arrives.
Since ticks are small in stature and rarely felt, It is important to check yourself, children and your pets for ticks when returning from outdoor activities. This is quite likely when you may discover one crawling up your leg, or even worse, embedded in your skin. While your gut reaction may be to rip the tick out as fast as you can, that would be a dangerous proposition.
Infected ticks can take 18-48 hours to transmit a disease when attached to a host. The safe removal of a tick can be the difference between a
non-event and a medical issue that could be life-altering. With diseases such as Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Powassan virus potentially being carried by ticks in the Weymouth and South Shore MA areas, knowing how to safely remove a tick is vital to your health.
Depending on old-wives tales techniques such as burning a tick off with a lit match or a hot lighter could lead to infection. Shocking a tick has been known to cause it to regurgitate potentially infectious saliva into the host it is attached to – never, ever suffocate, burn or torture a tick that is still attached to you, your child or your pet.
The advice from the Tick Encounter Resource Center is our favorite. Grab your pointy tweezers and hit play:
Pointy tweezers are a must for safe tick removal. Standard household tweezers are not effective for removing tiny nymph ticks which can increase your chances for ripping the tick upon removal.
Before removing the tick, disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol to avoid getting bacteria into the bite upon removal.
Use the pointy tweezers to grip the tick firmly and as close to your skin as possible, preferably around the tick’s head.
Tilt the tick upright so you can pull it straight out of the skin slowly & steadily upwards. If the tick’s mouth parts break off in your skin, don’t panic. Use the tweezers to remove them separately. The tick cannot transmit disease without its body so there is no increased risk of infection.
Disinfect the wound thoroughly after the tick is removed. And follow our best advice for safe tick disposal.
If you want to avoid this potential encounter, lower your exposure to ticks with Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro. Call today, we can eliminate up to 85-95% of ticks on your property with our expert tick control services. (781) 297-0123.
Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro South serves: Abington, Avon, Braintree, Brockton (02301), Canton, Cohasset, Dorchester (02124), Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Milton, Quincy, Randolph, Weymouth and Wollaston.