Ticks are blood-sucking mites that attach themselves to warm-blooded sources, including wild animals, humans and domestic pets. When they attach to a host, they insert a blood-sucking probe into the skin and will burrow into the skin. The main concern with ticks is the bacteria they carry in their stomachs which, if injected into the host, can cause Lyme Disease which may affect a host's skin, heart, nervous system and joints. Removing a tick quickly with alcohol will reduce the chance of contracting Lyme Disease.
Things You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- Cotton balls
- Jar with lid
Put on rubber gloves to limit contact with the tick.
Pour an inch or two of alcohol into the jar for proper disposal of the tick.
Soak a cotton ball with alcohol, and gently rub it over the tick and the surrounding area. The alcohol will stun the tick, making it more likely to let go before or during removal.
Pull the tick out of the skin gently using a pair of tweezers. Do not squeeze the tick too hard as puncturing the tick can cause infection in the host. Remove the tick as quickly as possible to give the tick less time to inject bacteria into the skin.
Place the tick in the jar of alcohol to dispose of it properly. Some doctors or veterinarians want tick specimens to evaluate; placing the tick in a jar makes it easier to transport if necessary.
Disinfect the skin using another cotton ball saturated with alcohol. Wash the affected area with warm soap and water.
Tips & Warnings
- To avoid ticks, wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when spending time in the woods or in areas with long grass. Spray yourself with a tick repellent. Most mosquito sprays will also repel ticks.
- To avoid ticks on your pets, ask your vet about oral medications.
- Wash all clothing in hot water after spending time outside in an area where ticks are present.
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