Ticks are nasty little creatures that love to feed on blood from any living thing including people, dogs, amphibians, birds, etc… They can’t fly, jump or hop so they wait in tall grass and on bushes for their victims to pass by. They look for easy places to land like the back of the neck, the head, and extremities. They attach with their mouths and hold on for dear life and drink blood until they are full. After that, they fall off.
The bite of a tick is usually unnoticed. It doesn’t hurt and most ticks are as small as the head of a pin.
If you find a tick on yourself or your pet do not try and remove it with your fingers. Applying vaseline, nail polish remover, or fire will not kill a tick. To remove a tick wear gloves and use a fine tipped pair of tweezers. Grap the tick by its head not the body. If you crush the body while trying to remove the tick it may regurgitate more toxic material. After removing the tick place it in alcohol until it dies. Never try and crush a tick with your fingers. Clean the are of skin where it was embedded with an aniseptic such as alcohol or betadine. Watch the area closely for signs of infection or a skin rash with a bull’s-eye appearance. If either occurs, see a doctor for evaluation.
The worry about being bitten by a tick is getting lyme disease. Some signs of lyme disease are fever, chills, muscle and joint aches, weakness or fatigue, headache or swollen lymph glands. Some symptoms may not appear for weeks or months after being bitten.
Ticks usually appear in warmer weather so we have some time before we start seeing them. Be aware of what they look like and check yourself and your pets frequently after being outside.