Staten Islander News Organization is planning a series on Lyme Disease.
This silent destroyer is perhaps Our Island’s greatest ongoing health threat.
We’ll delve more into that, later. For now, what we are focusing on is how to remove both the larger dog ticks, and the tiny deer ticks, carriers of Lyme Disease.
This is being presented by a Staten Islander wishing to remain anonymous, someone who spends more time in Staten Island’s woodlands than anyone else we know.
Everyone who knows him will agree with that statement, and the entire staff at StatenIslander.Org knows this to be true.
The issue with most tick removal instructions found online is that such methods are, largely, ineffective.
Let’s start with what not to do. Don’t cover the tick in Vaseline. Don’t burn the tick.
Before we present this method, which has worked on thousands of ticks, according to the reader submitting this video, we will discuss finding a tick that has attached itself.
Generally, you won’t find ticks until they are already attached. Rarely, you will find them on your clothing, more frequently on your pants than anywhere else.
Flick any ticks off that you discover climbing on you while in the woods. For the most part,you won;’t feel them on your skin.
After you return home, take the clothes you wore into the woods and put them either in your laundry room, or directly in the washer. If you leave the clothes near where you sleep or spend time, the tick could crawl over and find you. Remember, that’s what the ticks are good at.
Perform a visual scan of your body. Ticks love the groin, inner thighs, stomach area, and armpits. But a tick could conceivably attach anywhere. If you could have someone else check your back, that would help. Ticks can also attach on the scalp.
Take a hot shower, and scrub your skin using your fingernails after you soap up. You will feel a tick by doing this, as your nails will get caught on a tick as you scrape your skin. Besides, skin brushing is good for lymphatic circulation, so it can’t hurt to make this a regular practice, anyway.
Unfortunately, according to our reader who’s an experienced tick remover, that usually isn’t enough. Most often, you will find ticks the next day, or even days later, firmly attached.
While a bullseye rash is the telltale sign of Lyme Disease transmission, a purplish-red rash around the tick, or on adjacent skin, appearing as a blotch or streak, may also mean you have contracted Lyme Disease.
How to Remove a Tick – THE MATERIALS:
You will need two things:
1. A Slant-tip tweezer.
2. Cinnamon Essential Oil.
3. Rubbing alcohol.
4. Jeweler’s loupe.
5. Paper towels.
How to Remove a Tick – THE METHOD:
1. Clean the tweezers with the rubbing alcohol.
2. Examine the tick using the loupe,if available. Try to ascertain which way it is oriented, as you will need to pull the tick out with the flat end of the tweezers on its ventral (front) and dorsal (back) surfaces, not its sides. Failure to follow this first step could lead to failure.
3. Uncap the cinnamon essential oil. Please note that this is extremely caustic and cannot be used near the eyes or on the genitals. More sensitive skin, like under the armpits, may react if you don’t completely get the oil off as soon as you can. (We suggest Aura Cacia brand, but as long as it’s 100% essential oil, you should be good.)
4. Have the person bitten by the tick position themselves so that the body surface where the tick is located is horizontal.
5. Drop only one drop of oil on the tick. Wait a minute.
6. Grasp the tick firmly with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Do not catch the person’s skin while doing this!
7. Close the tweezers. Pull the tick out with a quick tug. It should come out in one piece.
8. You may retain the tick for testing. This is so that it can be later tested in a hospital for Lyme Disease. However, if you frequent the woods often, you may end up with a collection of ticks after not too long.
9. Blot the essential oil off with a paper towel, and then wash the area with soap and water. be sure not to spread the oil to other body surfaces.
10. Clean the tweezers off with rubbing alcohol once again.
How to Remove a Tick – CONSIDERATIONS:
Why are we using essential oil?
If you do not use the essential oil, the tick will continue to grasp firmly when you try to tug. The essential oil helps the tick to let go.
What if the tick has died while attached?
This happens. If the tick has died while attached, its head may become lodged within the skin when you pull it out. In that case, you must use a clean X-Acto blade to remove surface layers of skin until the head is able to be completely removed with the blade.
There are barbs keeping the head in place, and so this is a big issue. Dead ticks may look different, as the human body begins to resorb the tick’s cellular material but a dehydrated tick body will still look like a tick under a loupe.