Whether you’ve discovered a tick on yourself, another human or a beloved pet, it’s essential you remove it safely and immediately. If you don’t, you risk the transmission of tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. While tweezers are commonly used to remove ticks, you might not always have them handy. If you’ve found yourself tweezerless, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to remove a tick.
The Dental Floss Method
Dental floss or thin thread can be used to remove a tick. Simply take your floss or thread and, getting at close to the skin as possible, loop it around the head of the tick. Tighten the loop and carefully and firmly pull your floss or string upward. As with all methods of tick removal, you want to ensure you aren’t breaking the head off in the body and that the whole tick comes out.
The Dish or Hand Soap Method
Sometimes, liquid soap can be used to remove a tick without tweezers. Preferably, a soap with natural ingredients should be used for this method, and you will also need either cotton balls or a cotton swab. Add a bit of soap to your cotton ball or swab and hold it against the tick. The tick will react to the soap and unbury its head. When you pull the ball or swap away, the tick should be ensnared in the cotton fibers.
The Sewing Needle Method
A sewing needle can be used to either force a tick to back out or remove it. If you heat the needle and place it on the tick, the tick is likely to back out. This method allows you to target the tick better than methods that involve matches, which should be avoided. Before using the needle, you will want to clean the area where the tick is with rubbing alcohol. If the tick doesn’t fully back out from the heat, you can use the sharp end of the needle to dig the head out. Remember, it is crucial the head comes out with the needle.
Methods to Avoid
When researching how to remove a tick without tweezers, you’re likely to come across methods that shouldn’t be used. Some of these can cause even more harm to humans or animals, and they can lead to the tick only burrowing itself farther beneath the skin.
Matches and cigarettes are often suggested as ways to get the tick to back out. Matches and cigarettes have a lot more surface area than a hot needle does, and you have a high chance of burning your pet or child when using them. Vaseline and nail polish removers are also commonly suggested, and people believe they will either suffocate the tick or force it to back out. These can have the opposite effect and make the tick dig in deeper.
Many tick bites happen at home, and one of the best preventative measures you can take is making sure your yard is free of ticks. If you live near a wooded area or grassy field, building some type of physical barrier between that habitat and your yard can help keep ticks away. You can also use a pesticide around the outside of your home.
If you have a persistent tick problem, you should bring in professionals. A trained and licensed professional like those at MosquitoNix® can help manage ticks, especially during the peak season. Our residential pest control service covers ticks and includes a licensed technician who will stop by your home once a quarter to lay pesticide. Protect your family and pets today and get a quote.
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