What to do when tick bite? Tips and Tricks

What to do when tick bite? Tips and Tricks

They are small, mean, full of our blood and transmit dangerous diseases. There is talk of ticks. But what to do about tick bites?

Remove ticks – so you do it yourself

If you find a tick on yourself, you can remove it yourself. Actually enough for this classic tweezers . Hereby you grab the bloodsucker and pull it out of the skin.

Attention: You should grab as close to the skin as possible to catch the head of the tick. If you pull too hard on the back of the body, it can happen that the head or mouthparts get stuck, which increases the risk of infection .

Easier to remove ticks with special tools . For example, at the drugstore or pharmacy, you can get ticks, ticks, or ticks to get the beasts out of your skin. Practical for traveling is also a so-called tick card, which contains a small magnifying glass and eyelets in credit card format, with which you can pull the parasite out of the skin.

When removing ticks, always pull them out of the skin quickly and with a steady pull . You can make a twisting motion or just pull it out of the skin, it does not matter. It is important that you do not crush the body and especially the mouthparts so that the tick does not release more pollutants into the wound.

If you do not dare to the little bloodsucker, you can also have the tick removed by a doctor . But then please fast – the faster the tick is out, the better! How to spot a tick bite is explained in this article.

Tick ​​bite – when do I have to go to the doctor?

If you do not dare to remove the tick, you can have a doctor do it – but later, there are situations where it is wise to consult an expert! If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you should watch the sting site carefully . Does it reddened comically, does the stain get bigger or even move (so-called moving red )? Off to the doc!

Attention: Even if you do not notice a wandering flush at the puncture site, you may have caught some of the tick. Therefore, pay particular attention to how the bite site behaves and if you get symptoms like headache, dizziness or joint pain. If in doubt: Go to the doctor too often, if you find anything funny. With meningoencephalitis or Lyme disease is not to joke (more on the danger of TBE and Borrelia read below)!

By the way: You can also get the tick vaccination from your doctor.

What is a tick?

Ticks are small beasts that live mainly on forest edges and on meadows. They usually live in tall grass or shrubbery. Ticks are mutable parasites: there are nearly 1000 different species worldwide . In Germany, especially the common wood buck occurs.

Why is the image of ticks so bad? Because they are in the truest sense of the word bloodsuckers . They lead a lazy life until they find a host animal, on which they can drop and suck his blood. And this host animal can just be human .

Incidentally, ticks are not insects, but belong biologically to the arachnids . And: Although we always speak of a tick bite , the term tick bite would be scientifically correct, because the tick uses a special Stechrüssel to get through the skin of her host – it is not bitten, even if we sometimes think that literally “biting” the bloodsuckers.

Why is a tick bite dangerous?

We all know that tick bites are dangerous and sometimes life-threatening – but why? First of all, the bite or stitch itself is completely harmless. Tick ​​bites do not hurt and usually do not itch – but that’s exactly where the danger comes from.

Because: Ticks can transmit dangerous diseases . When they suck blood, they hang on their host animals for hours, sometimes days. This works because their saliva contains a narcotic so that the host does not notice the attack. There is always the danger that this host animal is infected, because the tick also spits partially digested food into the wound during sucking .

For humans, especially Lyme disease (here we explain typical Lyme disease symptoms ) and TBE ( tick-borne encephalitis ) are dangerous, transmitted by ticks. While you can be vaccinated against FSME, there is still no tick vaccine that protects us from borreliosis, which is triggered by Borrellien. Borrelia are bacteria that carry many ticks.

Where are the risk areas in Germany?

While the danger of becoming infected with Lyme disease is prevalent in Germany (the risk is after a tick bite at 1:40, in southern Germany even at 1:15), the risk of contracting TBE after a tick bite, especially high in the so-called risk areas.

The further south we move in Germany , the higher the risk of infection. The quota here is around 1: 150. But also, who does not live in a risk area, should always be careful and – if he is bitten – remove the tick completely as soon as possible.

What to do if my dog ​​has a tick?

Many dog ​​owners (and also cat owners) know ticks especially from their four-legged friends. They are also ideal host animals for the parasites – some even better than we humans, because they roam the grass more often.

And even if your dog and cat are not so at risk from communicable diseases, you should quickly remove the parasites from their fur . Because the beasts are, when they have finished sucking blood, just fall back – and soon attack the next host . That could be you, for example. Therefore, we should make a tick, which we bring about our pets in the apartment, quickly harmless.

How can I protect myself from a tick bite?

After the tick bite is before the imminent next tick bite – and it’s best not to let it go that far anymore. So that you are optimally protected from the bloodsuckers, you should wear long clothes (especially trousers) on the next trip to nature . You are even better equipped if you put your trouser legs in the socks or, for example, seal them with a trouser rubber (no matter what it looks like – it’s about your health!). By the way: oh coconut oil against ticks can protect you!

If your trousers are light (white or light gray, for example) then you can even better spot the little pests when they try to crawl up on you. After your trip you should always search thoroughly . If you want to be on the safe side, you will be taking off your clothes in a separate room instead of just putting your pants on the bedroom carpet.

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Ticks are looking for moist and warm parts of your body to bite. That’s why you search the whole body, popular bite-places are about under the armpits or in the knees . The best way to help is a confidant who searches body parts that are not so easily visible to you.

Do ticks die in the washing machine?

If you have taken off your hiking pants and throw directly into the washing machine, die off the critters, right? No! Ticks are extremely resilient – even a full wash at 40 degrees can not harm them. Even in the freezer, the parasites survive for 24 hours.

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The Easiest & Best Way To Remove A Tick From Your Body Or Your Dog’s Body (…Even Very Tiny Ticks!)

In writing about our personal experiences, we sometimes mention products & services that we use or recommend. This page may contain affiliate links for which we receive a commission.

In our never-ending quest to find property on which to build our new house, we’ve been traipsing in… through… up… and over… tall, thick brush filled with ticks!

This isn’t our first experience with ticks though. We’ve done our fair share of hiking, camping, and property searching together in Tennessee and Florida (where we’ve lived) and across the USA (where we’ve traveled together).

Needless to say, I know a good deal about ticks and tick bites. (And… I have Lyme Disease. More on that in a minute.)

Following are my best tips — so you’ll know what to look for and what to do if you ever get a tick bite, including:

  • What I’ve learned about the dangers of ticks (…like not all ticks carry the dreaded Lyme Disease).
  • Which type of ticks are the most dangerous ones to look for in each area of the U.S.
  • How tick bites affect dogs.
  • How long ticks feed on your blood — or your dog’s blood.
  • My personal experience with tick bites, the bullseye rash, and Lyme Disease.
  • The best way to remove a tick — easy ways to remove ticks and how to get a tick off yourself or your dog quickly.

All About Tick Bites

There are a number of experts who have compiled lists of what Lyme Disease ticks look like, how to remove ticks, and how to prevent tick bites.

My favorite ones are here:

In my opinion, these are the biggest takeaways regarding ticks:

  1. Once they attach, ticks will feed on your blood and become engorged over a period of 72 to 96 hours.
  2. They say that a tick’s favorite areas on the human body are the armpits and groin area. But on Jim and I, ticks seem to prefer our legs (especially the calves and ankles), knees (front and back), and waist (especially at the underwear lines).
  3. FYI, we were always wearing long pants and DEET — yet we still got bit by a lot of ticks! We switched to using Permethrin instead of DEET and found that it works much better. (More on that below.)

The degree of engorgement reflects the time the tick was attached. Unengorged corresponds with

0 hours, slightly engorged with

24 hours, moderately engorged with

48 hours, and very engorged with

72 or more hours. If the tick is infected with Lyme Disease bacteria, the risk of contracting Lyme Disease is considered minimal if the tick is unengorged, slight if slightly engorged, and likely if moderately or very engorged … It takes 2 to 3 days for nymphs and 4 to 7 days for adults to become fully engorged. Usually it takes 36 hours for a tick to infect you, IF it has Lyme bacteria. Remember, not all deer ticks are infected. Source

Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

In the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States… it’s the blacklegged tick (or deer tick) that spreads Lyme Disease.

On the Pacific Coast… it’s the western blacklegged tick that spreads Lyme Disease.

Blacklegged Ticks (or Deer Ticks) are the main carriers of Borrelia bacteria. So if your child has a Brown Dog Tick, a Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, or a Lone Star Tick, you don’t have to worry about Lyme Disease. But these other types of ticks can carry different kinds of disease-causing bacteria — so it’s good to know which tick you’re dealing with … Always remember to save the tick. That’s the most important thing. Source

Here are lots of photos of ticks — so you can see what Deer Ticks and Western Blacklegged Ticks look like, compared to other types of ticks that do not carry Lyme Disease.

My Own Experience With Tick Bites

Judging from the above information, my husband and I (and our dogs) have been bitten mostly by Lone Star Ticks — and we’ve been bitten by plenty of Tick Larva, too!

Before this summer, I had never seen ticks as small as the ones we pulled off our legs, arms, and other parts.

Apparently these are Tick Larva or Nymphs, and I’m here to tell you… they leave the itchiest bite of all! These tiny ticks are fairly easy to pull off your skin, but the itch lingers on for days — even weeks.

There for awhile, my skin kept bruising from all the scratching that I was doing. These little buggers pack a mighty bite! Then I started using Benadryl and applying Cortaid to the bite — and the itching went away much faster.

For the record, most of the ticks we pulled off our dogs this summer were Dog Ticks and Lone Star Ticks, as seen here:

Neither Lone Star Ticks nor Dog Ticks are carriers of Lyme Disease.

Since the tiniest ticks Jim & I pulled of ourselves were more brown than black in color, I can only guess that they were probably not the Deer Ticks that are responsible for Lyme Disease.

How To Remove A Tick From Yourself Or Your Dog

The #1 tip I’ve learned about ticks is the best way to remove a tick from your skin! So I thought I’d share.

Here is easiest and safest way to remove a tick:

First, using tweezers, grasp the tick as close to its head as possible. (Not the tick’s back, which is the largest and easiest to grab.) Gently lift the tick away from your skin until your skin puckers. Hold the tick in this position until the tick lets go. This may take a few seconds to 1 minute. Source

With the rise of Lyme Disease, there’s been an increase in the number of tools & gadgets that are available to remove ticks from your own body — and from your pet’s body.

There are many tick removers and tools that are useful for removing ticks — but my all time favorite is TickEase. It’s the only dual-sided tick removal tool on the market.

Here’s why I like TickEase:

  • One end has super-fine “pointy” tweezers — for removing ticks from humans (even tiny ticks)
  • The other end has a slotted “scoop” — for removing ticks from pets (handy, since my dogs get ticks every year when we’re out hiking and the slotted end holds the dog’s fur out of the way)
  • The pointy tweezers on TickEase lie flat against your skin (unlike most pointy tweezers) — making it easy to get underneath the tick and remove the tick’s mouth
  • The TickEase tool keeps the mouth parts of the tick intact — so the entire tick is removed and no parts remain embedded in the skin
  • The tick remains contained within the tweezer or the slotted scoop — rather than flying across the room or falling to the floor
  • It’s inexpensive at less than $10
  • TickEase was designed to comply with the CDC’s tick removal guidelines, which recommends pointy tweezers instead of flat-tipped ones for removing ticks from humans

The truth is that traditional household tweezers are designed for the removal of slivers. They are no more appropriate for removing ticks from your skin than are fine-tipped TickEase tweezers for removing slivers. In fact, using household tweezers to remove an engorged tick increases the chances of tearing the tick, which just exacerbates the problem. And they are certainly not effective for removing tiny nymph-stage ticks. Source

This video shows the inventor of TickEase, how this tick removal tool was made, and how to use TickEase to remove ticks from humans:

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The takeaway: Dan is a tick expert. He recommends using the fine-tipped tweezers end to get under the tick, against your skin and over the tick’s mouth parts. That way, you can easily pull it straight out of your skin. (NOTE: Do not twist — doing so can cause the mouth parts to break of and remain in the skin.)

See how to use TickEase to remove ticks from dogs:

The takeaway: Using the scoop end, simply place it against your dog’s skin, slide it underneath the tick, and lift with steady even pressure.

See how to use TickEase to remove tick from from children:

The takeaway: Use the fine-tipped tweezers end to get under the tick, against the skin and over the tick’s mouth parts. That way, you can easily pull it straight out of the skin.

How To Remove A Tick Without Tweezers Or A Tool

A few people have asked the best way to remove a tick without tweezers or a tick removal tool.

Maybe you’re out in the woods and you notice a tick on your dog — but you don’t want the tick feasting on your dog for hours until you can get to a tick removal tool.

While I don’t recommend this method, here’s a video showing how to remove a tick from a dog without tweezers:

The Bottom Line…

Well, I told ya we’ve had our fair share of tick bites — right?

It turns out one of the ticks that bit me was either a Deer Tick or a Western Blacklegged Tick — because I have Lyme Disease now. Since we live in Tennessee (and before that, we lived in Florida), most likely it was a Deer Tick.

Our best guess is that my Lyme Disease came from a tick bite I remember over 6 months ago. I had a red rash about the size of a golf ball — and I took a picture of it — but back then I didn’t put the pieces together that it could actually be Lyme. It wasn’t until 6 months after that rash from a tick bite that I started experiencing the symptoms of Lyme Disease.

Since I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease:

  • Every time one of us gets a tick bite, I’m careful to follow the best way to remove a tick that I’ve shared above.
  • We’ve discovered another product that prevents tick bites better than DEET — it’s called Permethrin.
  • I also learned that you can get Lyme Disease from your dog. Mine was obtained directly from a tick, not from my dog — but here’s how to tell if your dog has Lyme Disease from a tick bite.

So I guess the bottom line is…

  • Check yourself and your pets for ticks any time you and/or your dogs have spent time outdoors where ticks reside. Here’s how to check for ticks on your body.
  • Have a plan for quick & easy tick removal — know where your tick removal tweezers are and how to get a tick out yourself.
  • Save any ticks that you remove — in case you eventually experience a rash or you start to have any unusual health symptoms. These days, most doctors have access to the tests to check ticks for diseases. You could also send the tick out for tick testing, but this generally isn’t recommended.

I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn’t think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I’ve always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I’ve been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what’s ‘normal’ and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I’m not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve written over 500 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.

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How to Get Rid of Ticks on Your Dog

Table of Contents

I’m feeling a bit confused as I sit to write this post. I’m not sure if I should applaud my husband’s creative thinking or have him committed.

After a walk through some woods near our house, one of our dogs came home with a tick.

My husband’s reaction was disbelief at first, followed by disgust, including some impressively over dramatic gagging, and then he closed out his performance with an insistence that we add an opossum to our collection of pets.

Apparently he read somewhere that they eat hundreds of ticks a day.

Seeing as how we only had the one tick to feed to our imaginary pet opossum, I managed to talk him out of that one, thankfully.

Removing ticks from your dog is definitely one of the less glamorous aspects of pet ownership, that’s for sure. But it is sometimes a necessary evil.

There is no need to be a baby about it like my husband. There are several easy ways to get a tick off of a dog.

Dangers of Ticks

Dogs and humans can pick up ticks (aka Ixodes scapularis) from just about any location. It could be walking in parks, hiking, or even just while out in your own backyard.

Ticks are harmful to both humans and dogs because they leach themselves onto flesh. From there, they are able to pass on diseases.

Some of the most common diseases dogs can receive from a tick bite are:

Safety Precautions for Removing Ticks

If you should happen to find one of these parasites in your dog’s fur, keep your dog (and yourself) calm and in a relaxed state.

Offering the dog a treat so that they are not paying attention to what is happening is one way to help with that. Offering yourself a stiff drink might help as well.

You will need a few supplies such as disposable gloves, antiseptic cream, and isopropyl alcohol in order to do a thorough removal of the tick.

It is important to wear the gloves to protect against the spreading of any infections and to keep the disgusting blood and guts off of your hands.

Removing a Tick with Tweezers

Tweezers with the pointy tips work better than blunt tweezers.

Place the tips of the tweezers as close to the dog’s skin as possible and close the tweezers around the tick’s mouth. Be careful not to accidentally pull the body of the tick off and leave the mouth attached. This can increase the dog’s chance of ending up with an infection.

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Being careful not to pinch the dog’s skin, squeeze the tips of the tweezers together tightly, and pull straight up to remove the tick.

Removing a Tick with a Tick Key Remover

Removing a tick with a tick key remover is actually pretty similar to removing a tick with tweezers.

The main difference between the two methods is the placement of the tick remover.

Start out by placing the circular opening over the tick and running the key along the dog’s skin, keeping the tool flat.

Next, simply slide the key to the smaller opening underneath the tick, removing the tick from your dog’s fur.

Removing a Tick with Dental Floss

If you don’t happen to have any tweezers laying around, grab some dental floss. Floss can be used to remove ticks from your dog.

Either very thin floss or string with no wax works best.

Carefully placing the string at the base of the tick’s head where it meets the dog’s skin, wrap the head with the string and pull as tightly as possible. Pull the string straight up using both hands.

Careful not to fling the tick onto yourself because that’s gross and wholly unsanitary.

After Removing the Tick

Place the tick in an air tight plastic container with the isopropyl alcohol and leave it there for 24 hours to allow the tick to die. Label the container with the date that it was removed.

Place the antiseptic cream on the dog’s skin where the tick was removed from.

Wash your hands thoroughly after clean up of the removal area is finished.

Watch the area in which the parasite was removed from for any signs of an infection that may occur. Have the dog checked by a your vet if there is any suspicion of a health problem. You can also have the tick brought in and analyzed if an infection is suspected.

What NOT to do When Removing a Tick From a Dog

It is best not to remove the tick off of the dog using your bare hands to decrease the risk for you and your dog. The blood and saliva from a tick can carry pathogens that can spread.

If you do use your fingers, try to use gloves, napkins, or wipes to protect your hands. Wash your hands immediately after removing the tick from your dog.

It is not recommended to squeeze or press the tick once it is removed. This can cause the infections that the parasite may have to come in contact with you or on your dog’s skin.

While it is still attached to the dog’s skin it is best not to put anything on the tick such as Vaseline, alcohol, or a lit match in order to try and kill the tick. This may increase the risk of the dog receiving an infection from the tick due to it excreting body waste into the wound before being removed.

Yeah, you read that right. The tick could vomit or poop into the bite on your dog’s skin. Gross.

Putting the tick into the sink or the trash can is not suggested due to the possibility of the parasite (which has been around since the dinosaurs!) doing like the guy in the end of Scream and popping back up from the dead.

How To Prevent Ticks on Dogs

Walking dogs in the woods is great exercise for both you and them, but always check your pet for ticks after your adventure.

Your best bet is to keep ticks off of your dog in the first place by never, ever allowing your pup to go outdoors. Easy, right?

Along with medication for tick prevention, you should be fine if you check your dog regularly for ticks by using a comb. Be sure not to miss secluded spaces and folds such as armpits, ears, or between their toes.

This is recommended particularly if the dog spends a great deal of time outside. Even if your dog is on preventative measures, a tick can still find its way to attach itself onto your dog.

The sooner it is found and removed from the dog, the better the dog’s chances of not being infected with a disease from the tick.

Medications to Prevent Ticks

Putting your dog on a tick preventative medication from a veterinarian is a good start to arming your dog against them.

When choosing a preventative you want to think about your household and pet. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s size, age, and history when deciding on the best form of prevention.

Some medications may not be appropriate for young, elderly, or dogs that have had a history of seizures. Also, certain medications may not be safe if there are children or other pets in the home.

Topical Medication for Ticks

Topical medication is applied directly on the dog’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades.

  • Pros – Effective. Kills ticks.
  • Cons – During the application time, you will want to isolate the dog away from other animals and children that may come into contact with the application area. It can be messy and a bit dangerous until it is dry.

Oral Medication for Ticks

Usually a once a month pill that is given to the dog and is secreted through the dog’s skin to protect against fleas and ticks.

  • Pros – You do not have to isolate the dog from other animals or children
  • Cons – Some medications cannot be taken if a dog has had a seizure. Most pills are given monthly so if the dog does have a side effect the medication stays in the dog’s system for weeks.

Collars that Repel Ticks

These are usually flea and tick prevention that stays on the dog’s neck.

  • Pros – Easy to use. Inexpensive
  • Cons – It may not be suitable for a household with children that will be able to have access to the collars. May only protect the neck or upper body and not the back of the body. Skin irritation can occur if the dog has allergies to the ingredients.

Final Thoughts: A Few Tips and Tricks to Help Your Dog Avoid Ticks

Landscaping

Making changes to your landscape can help reduce the risks of a dog picking up ticks while outside.

One thing that will help is to keep your grass cut below ankle length.

Ticks can also be deterred by some plants such as garlic, rosemary, mint, rue, chrysanthemums, and pennyroyal. Some of these plants are deterrents to pests like fleas and mosquitoes as well.

Making sure that your trash is put away and tightly latched and there is no extra places for other animals to hide is another way that you can help ensure that there are not any wild animals carrying ticks hanging around.

You can also use a tick repellent outside in the yard. Just be sure to read up on whatever product you are using and the possible effects it could have on animals, children, and the environment when used.

Clean Bedding

Check your dog’s bedding, crate, and favorite lounging spots regularly to ensure that ticks are not hiding. Regular cleaning of dog bedding can help eliminate the possibility of ticks hiding out in the folds of the fabric.

Natural Remedies

You may try natural remedies such as garlic and apple cider vinegar to help your dog get rid of ticks. Servings are based on dog’s size so check with your veterinarian about serving suggestions.

Essential oils can also be used as an effective repellent against ticks and other pests like mosquitoes and fleas.

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