Ticks thrive by feeding on blood, whether it comes from humans, your pets, or other mammals. If you’ve become their next victim, don’t panic. Whether a tick has settled on your skin or on that of your child or someone else around you, the important thing is to remain calm. While it’s tricky to deal with ticks, we’re going to walk you through the steps of what you need to do if you find a tick on you, on your pet and around your property.
Step 1: Get the Tick off Your Skin
If you’ve only just found the tick and it hasn’t had the time to bite you and start sucking your blood, start off by picking it off your skin. Do not use your bare hands- you can use gloves, tweezers, or even tissue paper to remove it.
If the tick has already bitten you, you’ll need to use very fine tweezers to pry it off your skin. It’s ideal to go for the head first and then the body. Peel if off your skin gently, making sure that you apply even pressure on the entire bug- if there is unequal pressure, some of the parts of the tick will remain on your skin.
How to Dispose of the Tick
You’ll need to dispose of the tick properly to avoid an infestation. You can either flush it down the toilet or wrap it up in tape or plastic and throw it in the garbage. If you want to be extra cautious, you can store the tick in a jar or other container to show to your doctor. You may even dip it in alcohol and place it in a box or Ziploc bag. Keep in mind that many doctors are not able to identify different types of ticks, and if you fear that you’ve been bitten a tick that is carrying a virus or a disease, you can send it to a lab for further testing.
Step 2: Clean the Tick Location
Clean the area where the tick was crawling where it bit you with soap and water. Follow up by scrubbing the area/s with iodine or a little rubbing alcohol. It is important to disinfect the area immediately in case the tick was a disease carrier.
Step 3: Tick Identification
Like we mentioned before, some ticks carry infectious diseases and viruses like Lyme disease. Apart from saving the bug for lab testing, you can even find tick identifiers online.
One reliable source is the tick identifier designed by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). If you are unable to identify the type of tick you have, you can contact your local health department. The tick can be identified regardless of whether it’s dead or alive.
This step is quite important because you want to ensure that your health hasn’t been affected and also to know what sort of pests you’re dealing with if you have an infestation on your hands.
Step 4: Look at the Area of the Tick Bite
After sanitizing the area/s of the tick bite, look at your skin closely. If you notice any signs of redness, a rash, or swelling, you’ll need to consult a doctor.
Step 5: Visit a Doctor if There Are Visible Signs
If you’ve developed a rash, this may be a sign of a tissue infection or even Lyme disease, and your doctor will provide you with a prescription for antibiotics. In the worst case, you may even get a fever, chills, and other pains. The doctor will require the following information from you:
- What your physical symptoms are
- How long ago you were bitten
- Where you were bitten (physical location)- this is important to see if the area is known for tick-related diseases like Lyme disease, or not
- If you’re on any strong medication that can lower your immunity like chemotherapy
- If you have any medical conditions that make you more susceptible to illnesses like diabetes
Step 6: Check Your Home for an Infestation
If you’ve gone through this incident in your own home, chances are you have a tick infestation in your home, which can affect you and those living with you, including any pets. They may breed in corners of your home like near the carpets, window edges, etc.
You’ll notice when you have an infestation because ticks prefer a warm, moist environment to thrive and may be spotted on the hottest parts of your skin, such as underarms, scalp, and so on. Check yourself, your children, and anyone in the house for ticks. With pets, it can trickier since they may be covered in fur, so you’ll have to be quite thorough (make sure to wear gloves for safety).
Even if the ticks are not visible yet, you’ll know you have an infestation if people in the house are showing signs of tick-related illnesses like fever, chills, fatigue, rashes, etc.
The Final Step: Take Care of the Infestation (Tick Control)
Even tick removal from your skin and your pets, if they’ve laid their eggs already, you’ll be dealing with a full-scale infestation. You’ll need to identify the type of tick to find out its behavioral patterns. For a smaller infestation, you can make use of insecticide for ticks. It is also ideal to wear full-sleeved and covered clothing to close off any access points for the ticks to settle onto your skin and drink your blood.
However, dealing with ticks can be tricky, which is why it is ideal to get professional help. If you have a tick infestation on your hands, reach out to a pest control expert near you. The right exterminators can treat your entire property to take care of permanent and complete tick removal. For excellent tick removal services, reach out to Ants Plus and protect yourself and your loved ones from these blood-sucking bugs.