There’s a Tick Stuck to My Leg. Now What?

So, you went camping and you arrive home to find that you unintentionally brought a guest in with you. A tick has bitten you and taken hold of your skin.

What should I do?

There are hundreds of tick removal tricks that have been passed down for ages, but there is only one method recommended by the CDC. The safest and most effective method of removing a tick is to take a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, grip the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible and pull the tick straight out.

Make sure to sterilize the tweezers before using them with some rubbing alcohol and to pull straight out without twisting or pulling at an angle. This can cause the tick’s head to become detached from the body and stay inside your skin. If this happens, the best method to remove the head is to use a sterilized needle to widen the hole that the tick made, and to use the tweezers to pull the head out.

Watch out for…

Don’t try any “home-remedy” tricks to remove a tick. Don’t use a hot match or cigarette to burn out the tick, a pocketknife to scrape it off, or Vaseline to suffocate it. These methods can cause a tick to “throw up” and infect you with diseases, break the tick’s head off inside of your skin, or cause other unnecessary complications.

What Next?

Next time you head out to the woods or the mountains consider using a bug spray that contains DEET to repel ticks before they ever get the chance to bite, or use an old sock filled with sulfur as a natural alternative to DEET bug sprays.

While there are labs (most likely not in the DFW area) that will test ticks for diseases, the CDC does not endorse such off-site testing because these labs are not held to high standards, and results may be inaccurate. Instead, they recommend taking the time to research the kind of tick that bit you. If you have been bitten by a tick, learn more about it on the CDC’s website.

If ticks are a common issue around your home, you should consider calling Ideal Pest Control. As your local Fort Worth pest control provider, we can schedule you a quarterly or bi-monthly pest control plan. Ticks should not be a common issue in the yard. Visit Ideal Pest Control’s website to learn more about what can be done.