We have to live with tick removal as a fact of life since my husband works in the woods. Several years back, he got lyme's disease. We missed a tick in a well hidden location. Having gone through the health changes and its affect on our family, we take tick removal very seriously now. End stage lymes is a life changing health issue.
When you remove a tick, it is important that you do not allow the contents of the tick's stomach to be regurgitated back into your body.
There are many home remedies for tick removal that can initiate this response from a tick....applying a petroleum product (kerosene, Vaseline, gasoline, etc.), applying something to 'suffocate' the tick (Vaseline, fingernail polish), making the tick back out (lighting and extinguishing a match then touching it to the tick's rump, applying hot light, etc.), grasping the body and pulling it out using fingers or tweezers and other ideas.
To safely remove a tick, you need to ensure that the tick's body is NOT 'smashed' in any way.
Doing so causes the tick's stomach contents to be forcefully ejected into your body. Applying heat or chemicals to a tick can have the same effect of producing emesis (vomiting) for the tick.
A very good method for removing a tick is to lift the tick away from your body by its neck. This can be done with something as simple as a homemade tick remover up to a somewhat expensive tick removal tool. Below is a VERY simple tick remover that you can make (and improve on) at home. This can be made in minutes and thrown away afterwards if you want. Or, with a little more time, shaping and buffing, you can attach it to your key chain or jacket tab. This is made from a lid from a vegetable can, slightly bent and a 1/2" notch cut into the edge.
WARNING!!! WATCH FOR SHARP EDGES!
If you want, you can cut this narrower, machine grind the edges and drill a hole for keeping it on a chain if you like. Otherwise, this is just an expedient, single use tick remover. Feel free to experiment with whatever stiff material you have on hand.
To use this, slightly lift the tick from your body and find a comfortable angle of approach for removing the tick. Slip the tick remover under the body by sliding this along the skin until you've 'hung' the tick by the neck.
Use a gentle, steady lifting motion to LIFT the tick away from the body.
I've done this MANY times and the tick when properly removed is still
alive and wiggling. I like that. Clean the area with alcohol, apply antibacterial
ointment and a bandage and watch the site for a week or two for change.
Wrap the tick in toilet paper and flush it down the toilet. No need to
'kill it' as you want him and all his diseases gone intact.
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