Warning: GRAPHIC IMAGES
Okay, I had two deer tick bites last week – oh yes, they were embedded.
Old thinking – cover the tick with Vicks or petroleum jelly to smother them, back them out with a hot match or nail.
New thinking – get the tick out as fast as possible by pulling STRAIGHT BACK with a tweezers.
Don’t press too hard as you want to keep the tick intact. Once out, put it in a ziplock sandwich baggy with a label as to when it attached itself and how long it was attached. Put this in your freezer – I know, another YUCK!
If the tick was attached for 36 hours and was severely engorged, or you start to feel flu-like symptoms, you have 72 hours to get to the doctor and get a prescription of Doxycycline (also might be available from a vet if you have a good relationship with them).
Deer Ticks Versus Wood Ticks
Now they seem only concerned about the deer tick due to it’s dominance in transmitting Lyme Disease.
What To Do
So my health insurance 24 hour hotline nurse said to keep the tick in a baggie in the freezer and if I got flu-like symptoms in the next 30 days to contact a doctor.
The doctor’s nurse seemed to think that it was too late if the antibiotic wasn’t given within 72 hrs. Just sayin’…
Lyme Disease can have devastating, life threatening affects. My mother ended up in the hospital for a week last year with various serious symptoms that were eventually traced to Lymes Disease.
What I Did
I had two embedded ticks within 24 hours of each other. One I could reach but shredded it and the head finally festered out two days later – YUCK! The other I couldn’t reach and Bob was able to get out whole and is in the freezer.
I am now back to showering head and body in dollar store anti-dandruff shampoo which seems to keep the ticks moving around long enough for me to pick them off before they embed.
Learn from my experience!
There’s another tick that’s working it’s way up from the south called The Lone Star Tick. It comes from Texas (hence the name), and has been slowly moving north. It is identified by a white spot on the female and a fringe of smaller white spots around the edge, on the male.
What it spreads is an allergy to red meat that so far seems to be permanent. If you get the allergy, you can’t eat beef, pork, or lamb. They’ve been seeking a cure, but have so far been unsuccessful. A local man here that I know, has gotten it from one of those ticks, and has almost died twice from eating red meat.
Keep in mind though that not everyone gets gets something from an insect bite, but it pays to be cautious. Always spray yourself with an appropriate repellant (something containing 100% Deet, or as close as possible) before doing your outdoor activities.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Bev, thanks for the exc. photos and inf. Having grown up in a tick infested area -my sister and I did a nightly body check for tick and then went to our parents if we had one.They then applied alcohol which helped the tick to back off or carefully applied heat ( a hot pack or a match-they didnt hurt us but the tick dropped off )Always wear long pants and sleeves when in the woods or fields.Ticks live on the taller grasses -weeds.
Drs despite the admonition to run to a Dr -do not seem ready to give antibiotics or test the tick.I always tell them it just happened and that I demand antibiotics . My Dr. is good about it. PLEASE Bev if you do feel sick- get the antibiotics. I know some folks that are extremely debilitated from Lyme.By the way theres some speculation that the Gov. had been doing really on Lyme in labs at Plum Island,NY and that this is how it started.Wouldnt surprise me a bit. Be well. Arelene
Our property has a super infestation of ticks this year. According to our neighbors, it’s the same way all over the county. There are multiple kinds, from the tiny black ones to the large ones with yellow spots on their backs. We’ve found (after 2 years) that the best way to remove is by firmly grasping (with tweezers if you’re squeamish like our daughter) and pulling straight out. Never heard of putting them in a baggie & freezing. We drop them in a glass with about 1/2 – 1 inch of whiskey in it. You can swirl it if the tick doesn’t sink pretty quickly. The alcohol seems to kill them pretty quickly. I even keep a cup of whiskey down in the garden in case one gets on me there.
We plan to use our wood chipper on several cedar trees that have come down this year. We plan to add a 2 foot trough around the garden to help keep additional ticks out of it. You can also use cedar oil spray on trees around your house, yard and garden to keep than at bay. Good Luck, all.
Ticks are common here. We put flea & tick collars on the dogs for their protection and so they don’t bring them into the house. The wetter the spring, the more prolific the ticks. Since we live in the woods and our normal summer temperatures are in the 90s, we are not inclined to wear long sleeves everyday. After work we brush our hair, head down, over the bathtub with a close bristled brush to knock out any “hitch hikers” and then shower.
We learned that while a tick is embedded, dousing the area with oil (any oil will do but motor oil is thicker and stays put better) cuts off their oxygen and they back out in less than a minute. I was told by an “old timer” that the head was the dangerous part and disease was passed when the head was detached while trying to remove it. (?) Between the whole batch of us, including pets, we’ve probably had a hundred of the nasty little critters embed. Praise God that no one has ever been infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever!
Sounds a bit silly, but if you are outdoors in tick-country, wear clean socks.
Butyric acid, the source of the “old gym sock smell” is a proven attractant for the little SOB’s.
An old friend used to host 2x-a year “Farm Parties” at the place he inherited from his parents. He was a PhD-candidate in Biomedical Engineering, with easy access to ‘borrow’ lab chemicals.
A day or so before people arrived, he’d douse some old rags in butyric acid and leave them out in the fields near the house. Then, have a ‘tick roast’ on a big bonfire. It didn’t wipe them out, by any means, but did appear to take out a big chunk of the tick population before people got there.