NOTTick season has arrived here per the Indiana State Department of Health. Last year, over 250 tick-borne cases were reported in Indiana… including Lyme disease, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis.
How to Check for Ticks on You or Your Kids
You don’t have to be out in the deep brush to pick up ticks, they’re right in your backyard. Give us a call if you’d like to treat against ticks. Pets are highly susceptible to picking up a tick or two each season so its imperative that you keep an eye out for them. If you or your kids spend time outside, the CDC recommends that you check your body for ticks in the following places:
- In and around your hair and ears
- Under the arms, between the legs, in the backs of the knees, and around the waist
- Inside the belly button
If you check for ticks immediately, you can often just remove them because they’re still traveling and not actually embedded in your skin. Her’es a great video where tick expert Kateryn Rochon explains how to check:
How to Check for Ticks on Your Pets
Since pets are outside every day, you should get in the habit of checking your pet for ticks every day, too. Brush your fingers through their hair trying to feel any small bumps. Don’t forget to check behind their ears, around their eyelids, under the collar, under their armpits, around the tail, between their toes of their paws (Yea, dogs have toes!), and in the genital region.
How to Remove a Tick
Within hours of embedding their head into the skin, ticks begin to transmit any pathogens they’re carrying. That’s why it’s so important to not waste time and immediately remove any ticks. If they aren’t embedded, just pick them off and get rid of them. Since you picked up one, you should fully inspect yourself looking for others.
If you find a tick and it’s already feeding on you, you have to be extremely careful in their removal. Many people make the mistake of pulling them out, but the problem is that they have barbs like harpoons in their mouth. You pull off the body and the head stays… still infecting and still trying to feed.
There are quite a few methods of tick removal out on the web, but one that’s tried and true is to arm yourself with a tick removal tool. You can find one on Amazon for just a few bucks (buy it today so you have it when you need it!)
Tick removal tools are specially designed so that the claw grabs the head of the tick and they can be twisted out of the skin.
NOTE: Don’t use nail polish or petroleum jelly to try and make the tick detach. The CDC advises that this is folklore and you’re putting yourself in more danger of being infected. You want the tick out as quickly as possible.
After you remove the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or iodine. Within days or as late as months later, you may experience symptoms of lyme disease – headaches, dizziness, stiffness, fever, chillse, fatigue, and body aches. If you see a rash around the bite area or have any of these symptoms, you should immediately make an appointment with a health professional.
Don’t forget to get rid of the tick! Don’t crush it, just flush it down the toilet.