August 23, 2019

What to Do If You Get Bitten by a Tick

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Outdoor season is here and one of the dangers we need to watch out for is getting bitten by a tick. Ticks carry a lot of diseases and many of them, such as as Lyme disease are hard to diagnose.

What if, in spite of all your precautions, you find a tick on your body?  Knowing what to do will help you to get ahead of the problem.

Things you must do as soon as you find a tick on your body

1. Don’t panic. You don’t get exposed to germs unless you get bitten. If the tick is not attached to you, and is merely crawling, it may be a sign that there are others. Thoroughly inspect every inch of skin.

2. If you do find one already attached, remove the tick as soon as possible.  I found this tick removal device on Amazon called Tick Tornado that is said to be easy and effective for removing ticks.  There is one for pets too.  Keep it in the first aid kit that you carry with you.

According to the CDC, plain fine tipped tweezers work too.  Grab the tick as close as possible to the skin.
Pull straight up, and DO NOT jerk or twist. You don’t want to leave any pieces of the tick embedded on your skin.

3. After removing the tick, resist the urge to crush it with your finger.  Save the tick in a jar of alcohol or a sealed plastic bag so you can identify it later or take it with you when you see your doctor.

4. Wash the affected area as well as your hands thoroughly with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.

5. If you live in an area where Lyme disease is common, consider seeing a doctor. In some cases, doxycycline may be administered to lower your risk of Lyme disease.

6. Take a shower. Just in case you missed any ticks, taking a shower may help wash away any that you missed.

7. Change your clothes and inspect your shoes. You may still be carrying ticks.

Symptoms to watch for

If you decide not to go to the doctor, watch for symptoms. They may not appear for 30 days. Look for

  • headache
  • fever
  • rash
  • muscle pain
  • fatigue
  • painful and swollen joints.

If you do develop symptoms, seek medical help and make sure you mention your tick bite.

Make it a habit to inspect yourself for ticks daily when you spend time outdoors. Avoid going through thick grass and vegetation. Inspect your pets as well.  For additional tips, see How to Avoid Getting Lyme Disease

Additional Resources

Lymedisease.org

CDC: Lyme Disease

 

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

 

Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay



4 Comments on What to Do If You Get Bitten by a Tick

  1. Some people, if bitten by the “Lone Star Tick” , can DIE if they eat beef within 6 hours after being bitten by that tick! Others can just become very ill. See a Dr. and get antibiotics.

  2. I have a cabin where I can get several ticks on me per day….the Lone Star variety. I get them off in the manner described but saving the ticks seems to be ridiculous. The other suggestions seem to be the proper way to treat the situation. The question I have is “why can’t a tick collar device be developed for use by humans?”. My dog has a Seresto collar which works very well for him.

    • Hey Tom, A lot of people do not know tick varieties. Unfortunately, a lot of tick borne illnesses are mistakenly diagnosed, and having the tick can help identify what disease may have been transmitted. Someone should develop a collar or bracelet for each ankle to repel ticks that would be comparable to a dog collar? I’ve seen those mosquito repellent bracelets, but I am not sure how well they work. Thanks for the comment.

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