Information on removing ticks differs depending on where you search on the internet. Some will suggest that extracting ticks with your fingers is okay, however others will say to use tweezers and that you shouldn’t use your fingers. It may all be to do with what kind of tick needs detaching and where it needs detaching from. If you are searching for tips on extracting these parasites, it is more likely to be for you, your children or your house-pets. The good thing is there are multiple methods and also tools to assist you. Any risk with withdrawing a tick with fingers will be to do with the ability of pulling it out altogether in one piece and not leaving any parts in the skin for further infection. This relates to the deer, brown dog, cattle, human and red tick.
Before removing ticks you will probably want to be aware of the risks involved and why the process should be exercised carefully and with caution. The bottom line is, you do not want to leave any part of the parasite remaining in the skin, you do not want to burst it (to avoid infection to the bite and in the blood) and you want to ensure its killed so it cannot crawl off and start sucking the blood of something else. The majority of tick bites will not cause too much irritation or discomfort but these parasites are able to carry and transmit multiple infections and diseases. Lyme disease (also known as Lyme Borreliosis) is one of the most commonly mentioned diseases. They are also said to be able to spread Q fever, Babeosis, Ehrlichiosis, Meningoencephalitis, Anaplasmosis and jaundice in dogs. All of which are passed on through their saliva and contact with the blood of their host. Therefore it is vital that when detaching them, it is done properly.
There are many things to try NOT to do when withdrawing ticks from the skin and some of these are below:
- Do NOT compress/squeeze the parasites
- Do NOT try to burn them with any type of flame or cigarette
- Do NOT leave any part of the tick remaining in the skin (take out in one go)
- Do NOT pull them out with your fingers if deeply embedded
- Do NOT cover them with petroleum jelly or Vaseline
If you squeeze the ticks they may burst. You may cause more harm than good by burning them (and your skin) with a flame, plus it may embed them more. Pulling the tick out with your fingers may lead to it breaking and Vaseline may encourage the parasite to go deeper and then become more slippery to get out.