I’m not sure if it is due to the mild winter or what, but the ticks seem to be plentiful this year! My dog, Phoebe, has had some already, and she has hardly ever gotten them before. And I have been hearing from local clients that they and their children have been repeatedly dealing with ticks. Since it seems to be a problem that so many are dealing with this year, but many people I ask don’t know how to easily remove a tick, I thought I would share with you a simple way to get ticks off yourself and your pets.
My first experience with a tick was with my then 6 or 7 year old daughter. She had complained of a pain in the side of her head, and when I first looked I didn’t notice anything. When she complained again that evening, I examined her scalp closer, and saw what I initially thought was a skin tag or something due to the color which perfectly matched her skin, until I noticed little black legs moving on the sides of it. Yuck! I had not dealt with ticks before, but immediately called some friends and family to find out how to get rid of it. We tried everything we were told, including putting a hot match to it, alcohol, trying to pluck it out with a tweezer, etc. Nothing worked, so I called the Emergency Room at the hospital where I worked. The nurse told me to put Vaseline on it; that would suffocate it and make it back out. No luck. I remembered hearing that you need to remove the whole tick including the head, and we couldn’t budge the thing. So fearing that I would not be able to remove it adequately, we took her to the ER. The doctor that helped her was very nice, and introduced me to a wonderful little gadget with which he removed the tick. The head of the tick was left in her scalp (not such a horrid thing after all), but her body did a good job or pushing it out within that next week. The doctor’s advice for future tick problems – don’t ever put Vaseline on them; that just makes them slippery and hard to remove!
The wonderful little gadget the doctor used was called Ticked Off. It looks like a little plastic measuring spoon, except that it had a notch in one side of it opposite the handle. All you do is place the notch against the skin and slide it forward – this grabs the tick completely pulls it out (if it’s not slicked up with Vaseline), and then I just tap the tick into the toilet and flush!. Ticked Off costs only a few dollars and can be purchased online or in your local drug or pet store. I still have the one the doctor gave me, and used it just last week to get a tick off my dog’s belly.
Unfortunately, bugs of all kinds just go with the territory of summer; some are just an annoyance but others can be hazardous to your health. If you have any great tips for dealing with summer pests, we would love to hear about them! Just comment below!