Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that carry disease, the most common of which is Lyme disease. Ticks that manage to hide themselves in a hard-to-reach area, such as the navel, can be difficult to locate and hard to remove. It's important to remove the tick whole to reduce chances of infection. Drowning the tick in a pill jar with rubbing alcohol will kill and preserve it for taking to a doctor for tests, if recommended.
Things You'll Need
- Empty pill bottle with tight-fitting cap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton swabs
Spread the skin around the navel for a better view inside the cavity, using a flashlight to locate the tick.
Grasp the tick with tweezers as close as possible to the skin inside the navel where it has attached. If the tick's head is not buried in the skin, try to grab it by the head. Otherwise, grab the tick by the body.
Pull back gently and firmly with the tweezers and continue exerting pressure to force the tick to release its grasp. This may take several minutes, but eventually the tick will instinctively relase its grip on the skin rather than risk having its head torn off.
Inspect the tick to verify that it is in one piece.
Drop the tick into an empty pill bottle and fill halfway with alcohol, then seal the lid.
Swab the tick bite area with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Watch for redness and any signs of infection.
Contact a doctor to discuss whether the tick should be tested for disease. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria harbored in ticks. Although the disease has been reported throughout the United States, it is prevalent mainly in the Northeast.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't attempt to smother a tick with petroleum jelly. This old wives' tale has been proven ineffective, as ticks can still obtain enough oxygen to continue feeding and potentially spreading diesase to the host.
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