Monday, June 15, 2009

Tick Key Works For Removal

Walking in New England means doing tick checks every single day. Once found, how best to remove a tick?

My sister gave me a handy little device that I carry with me at all times. The Tick Key is manufactured in Connecticut by JABA LLC, Waterbury. And it works to remove a tick. (Above, while on a Vermont jaunt, this is just after finding a deer tick and using the key to successfully lever it out, and placing the tick in a capped jar filled with alcohol to kill it.) Check your dogs daily as well.

Recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to remove attached ticks:

Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Use fine-tipped tweezers or notched tick extractor, and protect your fingers with a tissue, paper towel, or latex gloves (see figure on CDC site). Persons should avoid removing ticks with bare hands.

After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water.

Do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain infectious organisms, including babesiosis, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis.

Note: Folklore remedies such as petroleum jelly or hot matches do little to encourage a tick to detach from skin. In fact, they may make matters worse by irritating and stimulating it to release additional saliva, increasing the chances of transmitting the pathogen.