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Helpful Tick Information

Ticks before and after feeding

Ticks before and after feeding

This summer has been a great one for ticks. The long sunny days with the occasional heavy rain is perfect for overgrowth, their natural habitat. We recently had two encounters with ticks, so we thought we’d share what we learned with you. It has been more information than we ever wanted to know about them.

How ticks arrive

Do ticks drop on you from trees?
No! Ticks don’t fly, hop, run, or even move all that quickly. Depending on the life stage and species, they quest for hosts anywhere from ground level to about knee-high on vegetation, and then tend to crawl up to find a place to bite…

People find ticks higher up on their body because all ticks crawl upwards. Ticks are not designed to jump; they just do not jump at all, and are rarely found waiting for hosts much above the level of their preferred hosts. Their preferred natural host are racoons, skunks and untreated dogs and cats in the domestic setting. The body height of these animals are all about 8-12 or so inches above the ground, so biologically, it makes sense for the ticks to wait for these hosts at about that height. Once they latch on, they quickly climb up. When humans (accidentally) encounter these ticks waiting for their preferred hosts, the ticks latch on as well (usually on the legs, unless you have reached down with your arm), and begin crawling upwards.
– from TickEncounter.org/FAQ

So now that you have a tick on yourself, your spouse, or your child, how do you properly remove it? Here’s what the CDC says:

How to remove a tick

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
    outline of tick

Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible – not waiting for it to detach.


No, there’s nothing wrong with your device. There’s no sound on the video.

Follow-up

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

Tweezer Options

If you don’t have tweezers like the ones shown in this video, your local pharmacy would likely have them. If you want upscale ones, especially if you own pets, here are two recommendations:

  1. tickease.com
  2. mainelyticks.com/supplies-tweezers (magnifier)

Prevention Tips

  • Hike/Ride in the middle of trails to minimize contact with overgrowth
  • Wear clothing that covers your skin
  • Check your skin and hair thoroughly after outside activity
  • Wear an insect repellant

Make your own non-toxic insect repellant

Thanks to Linda Baker, MD of Wellspring Homeopathic Care for providing the recipe below.

In 100mL spray bottle add:

– 30 drops of Salvarome essential oil blend (available at Wellspring Homeopathic Care Office)
– 10 drops Bergamot
– 2 Tbs unroasted sesame oil

Top up the rest of the bottle with water and apply generously.

This repellant will ward off ticks and sandflies that carry Lyme, Bartonella and co-infections
(Bergamot essential oil and Solvarome targets ticks; Sesame oil targets sandflies)