It’s as much about what to not do as it is what to do. If you squeeze, pop, or burn a tick you run the risk of spreading the bacteria.
- Do not burn or use any substance on tick
- Do not grasp, squeeze, or twist body of tick
- Grasp tick close to the skin with tweezers
- Pull tick straight out
- Use antiseptic on skin
- Disinfect tweezers
- Wash hands thoroughly
- Always see a healthcare provider for possible diagnosis, testing, and treatment.
- If desired, save tick for testing, preferably alive, in a zippered plastic bag or a closed container with a moist cotton ball.
Symptoms of a Tick-Borne Illness
There are many tick-borne diseases in the world, but most of these diseases carry very similar signs and symptoms. If you have been bitten by a tick, and within a couple weeks you begin to develop symptoms– please contact a healthcare professional. There are different health perspectives to consider before a clinical diagnosis is made:
- Your Symptoms
- Your Geographic Location
- Your Diagnostic (Blood) Test Results
- A Bullseye Rash
- Bullseye Rash
Helpful Tricks and Tips
The best way to prevent a tick-borne illness is to prevent the tick from ever coming into contact with your skin. Follow some of these tips to stay safe during times when tick populations are high.
- Wear insect repellent spray with 20%-30% DEET on your clothes (avoid wearing the spray on your skin)
- Wear appropriate clothing when outside in tick dense areas– long sleeves, pants, and high socks
- Check for ticks after being outside– do regular tick checks, especially looking at your hairlines, armpits, ears, belly button, and groin
- After being outside, put clothes in the dryer for 15 minutes on high heat to kill any ticks that may be attached to your clothing
- Use tick protection products for your pets such as chewable tablets, topical applications, and tick collars.
Much of our material and understanding of tick-borne illness is due to the hard work of many scientists and doctors from around the world. To view their websites please click on any of the links below: