Friday, April 30, 2010

How To Remove a Tick

Do you have ticks in your area? Most people do and if you have dogs, you know your dog is going to pick one up eventually. Luckily for us, we don't see many ticks in our area. There is a short period in the spring when we may see one or two, then nothing for the rest of the year. Also, the last time we saw them around, I picked it up and I knew exactly where I had gotten it. So, I bought some stuff that  you spread around in the bushes. This kills the eggs that the ticks lay, before they can hatch out the next year. I'm sorry to say, I don't remember the name, but it was very effective.


To Remove a Tick:

Do Not Use Your Fingers! 
Use a pair of tweezers, or something similar, that will gently grip the head of the tick, then slowly pull it straight out. 
Do Not jerk or twist.
Do not apply anything like alcohol or a hot match to try to make the tick back out. This does not work and in fact, may cause the tick to release even more bacteria into the bloodstream of it's victim.

After removing the tick put it in a jar with a little alcohol and this will kill it. Have a container ready when you remove the tick so as to not drop it. Some ticks are very tiny and would be nearly impossible to find in carpet. Just look at the ones in the picture, on a postage stamp!
As a precaution, it's a good idea to apply a triple antibiotic cream to the area of the bite. A small bump will remain at the bite site for several weeks and may even leave a scar. Ticks carry bacteria and serious diseases like lime disease. Should the site become swollen, or infected see your doctor right away.

Especially in the spring, after working outside, it's a good idea to check your entire body for ticks. Give your dog a good going over and remove any ticks you find.

Information Source Drs. Foster and Smith:


  1. Good info Karen. I still don't know why there are ticks and what purpose they serve. Certainly nothing positive that I can think of, I dislike them the most of all parasites. Well leeches are right in there too but I don't have to deal them much.

  2. I'm glad you don't have a lot of ticks in Montana but we have a ton of them here in the mid atlantic. The deer are infested with them and they shed the fertil adults everywhere. The best thing I've found is a tick collar called preventtick. You put it around the dogs neck and it kills the ticks on the dog. They don't get a chance to attach well before they die. A good number don't even try to attach (they try to get on you). Good product available from Fosert and Smith. If they are a problem where you live, give it a try.

  3. I'm with you Terry, it's a complete mystery! They are such nasty little critters. I could certainly live without them!

    And Art, Thanks for the good info on Preventtick. Sounds like a good remedy for the little pests. I am so grateful that we don't have very many. Guess our extreme cold kills most of the eggs before they can hatch out in the spring.

  4. We actually have two types. The Brown Dog Tick, which is larger and active in warm weather and the Deer Tick, which is more active in the fall and spring. The deer ticks are even active on a warm winters day if its not too cold. They are small and carry Lymes disease. I've hever got it myself but know a lot of folks that have. We have the dogs vaccinated for it and we have their titers checked when they have a check up. A lot of dogs don't get the shots and come down with Lymes. Often the first sign is when the dog becomes lame. There's nothing like waking up at night and feeling one of those suckers walking up your neck!

  5. I've lived in the south, so I have experience bites. They usually leave a bump for about 6 months. A few years ago, here in Montana, I got a bite and it made me sick. Flu like symptoms for about 3 days and then gone. Been fine since. Sure does give me the willies to find one connected!

  6. And Art....I can't believe you have them even in the winter! Keep those little suckers back there and don't let them migrate this way! They must be real survivors!