Ticks are small arachnids that can attach to your skin and feed on your blood. In most cases, ticks are harmless, but some do carry diseases, and it’s recommended that you remove a tick as soon as possible in order to limit the possibility of infection. The American Academy of Dermatology or AAD provides four important tips for how to remove a tick.
Safe and Effective Tick Removal Guide
• Use Sterilized Tweezers
Tweezers are the recommended tool for how to remove a tick, but be sure to sterilize them as they may come in contact with the open wound. The easiest way to sterilize them is with rubbing alcohol. Use a cotton ball or swab to apply the alcohol to the blades. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective alternative, and if you lack both, you can use boiling water or a lighter, but make sure the tweezers are cooled before use.
• Pull Upward With Steady and Even Pressure
The most important thing to know about how to remove a tick is to do so gently and carefully. Do not squeeze or twist as this can cause the head to break off and remain in your skin. If that does happen, use the tweezers to remove the remaining parts, and if you cannot remove all of the parts, then you should see a dermatologist right away. If there is no dermatologist in your area who can see you on an emergency basis, go to your local emergency room for assistance.
• Save the Removed Tick in a Sealed Container
Ideally, you should put the tick in a sealed container. Most tick bites do not cause illness, but if you are infected, a rash, headaches, and other symptoms can occur within two days. After 30 days, if there are no symptoms, then you can discard the tick. If you do have symptoms, then your doctor can use the tick to determine the types of infections that you may be dealing with.
• Clean the Bite Area
The final step is the clean the affected area. All that is required is warm water and soap. Once the area is thoroughly cleaned, you can use an adhesive bandage for a day or so to keep any contaminants out of the area. Infections are uncommon, but if you do experience any pain, discoloration, or oozing from the bite site, then you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Protect Yourself Against Ticks
While it’s important to know how to remove a tick, we recommend avoiding exposure. If you’re taking a hike through a wooded area, then you can use insect repellent and wear long pants and sleeves. But it can be much harder to have your defenses up while around your home or business and not thinking about ticks. For home and business owners in the Charleston, Columbia, and Florence areas of South Carolina, Ledford’s Pest Control recommends treating your property on an annual basis. Ledford’s has decades of experience in this region eliminating ticks and keeping them gone. Contact us online today for more information.