It’s tick season everyone. And if you haven’t got the memo, tick-borne diseases are becoming a significant issue in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are no fewer than 15 diseases transmitted by ticks to humans. Spring is a critical time for infections because the nymphs (the ticks that haven’t matured into adult ticks yet) can be difficult to spot as they are quite small. Nevertheless, removing embedded ticks is essential to reduce and/or prevent your risk getting an infection. But you remove ticks the correct way.
- Vaseline. Smothering a tick with Vaseline. Some believe that that doing so causes the tick to vomit as it releases itself, thereby increasing the possibility of infection.
- Fingernail Polish. Painting a tick with fingernail polish can have the same negative effect as Vaseline.
- Lighted Match. Using a lighted match or heat is also not recommended by the CDC.
The CDC says that you should use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the embedded tick as close to the skin as possible. Then gently but firmly pull till the tick releases. The key is not to break the tick. Is there another way? Possibly. The TickCheck is a plastic tick removal device. It is an ergonomically designed tool with a slit-hook designed to allow you to slide the hook underneath the tick, straddling the tick’s palps (the probes that embed into the skin) and remove it.
I haven’t used the product myself (I’m pretty careful about avoiding ticks and ticks are rarer where I live than other parts of the U.S.), but I wanted to let readers know it exists. It’s small enough to easily fit into a pocket, first aid kit or hiking bag. While avoiding ticks in the first place is the best practice, being prepared to remove one is important too.
(Note I have not received compensation in any form to write this post, but if the company wishes to send me some, I will accept :))Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel) along with several books (https://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/store-2/). Listen to his podcast at PestGeek Podcast (https://pestgeekpodcast.com/). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. If you would like to have Stephen speak at your event or use his consultation services, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.