Once the first sign of warm weather hit this season, we got to work so that we could inform of you on this summer’s tick situation. Over the years, we’ve given you plenty of helpful info on how to best protect yourself from these disgusting—and dangerous!—critters, but this summer is so bad, we’ve had to look into more expert opinions
For example, within the past several weeks, we told you about the newest invasive species of Asian bush tick that have, unfortunately, made a permanent home on the East Coast. This means that residents and visitors of this area are going to have to be doubly careful this summer.
Now, we already mentioned that we’ve given you plenty of information on how to safeguard yourselves and your family against ticks, but now it’s time to learn what to do if a tick ends up attaching itself to your body.
We know, we know, it’s a scary and, honestly, stomach-churning scenario, but it’s one that you must take the time to learn, inside and out. Believe us, you don’t want to find yourself blindly ‘Googling’ this information while the said tick is just making a new home on your skin!
What to do the moment you find a tick on your body
Like any first-aid situation, the most important thing to do when you find a tick on your body is to stay calm. Sure, you may want to flail your arms and scream in horror, but that won’t do you any good! So, breathe, and begin on this step-by-step extraction process, as written by the experts at the CDC:
1. First things, first, ensure that the critter is a tick. The insect can come in all shapes and sizes, with the smallest ones being the sizes of poppy seeds. Generally, ticks like to bury where it is warm, along the hairline, under the breasts, and, yes, even near the groin area. Shudder.
2. Now that you have confirmed that the trespasser is, in fact, a tick, sanitize a pair of fine-tipped tweezers and pluck out the insect, pulling upward with steady, even pressure. If you’re unable to get the entire body of the tick in one swift movement, make sure that you go back and pluck away anything that might be left in the skin.
3. Once the tick has been safely removed from your body, drop the disgusting fellow in a sealable plastic bag or field container—don’t worry, the tick will die in there on its own!—and save it for several weeks. This last step is crucial as you might become sick after the bite and saving the body will help your doctor determine what disease the tick might have been carrying.
Get it? Got it? Good! Like we said, most of us don’t want to confront the idea of ticks, but this knowledge gives you the power to keep both you and your family safe.
What are your thoughts on this tick-removal process? Do you know of any others? Have you ever gotten sick from a tick bite before?