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SPECIAL REMINDER: Ticks!! It is that season, as one of the little suckers reminded me. Be sure to check dogs, kids, spouse and yourself. Extract by using a fine-tip pair of tweezers. Grasp tick at point entry and slowly and steadly pull out. Clean and use anaspetic, cover with band-aid. Be sure to check. Of course, if any doubt seek a physician.

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How about this article?


Chigger larvae do not burrow into the skin, nor suck blood. They pierce the skin and inject into the host a salivary secretion containing powerful, digestive enzymes that break down skin cells that are ingested (tissues become liquefied and sucked up). Also, this digestive fluid causes surrounding tissues to harden, forming a straw-like feeding tube of hardened flesh (stylostome) from which further, partially-digested skin cells may be sucked out. After a larva is fully fed in four days, it drops from the host, leaving a red welt with a white, hard central area on the skin that itches severely and may later develop into dermatitis. Any welts, swelling, itching, or fever will usually develop three to six hours after exposure and may continue a week or longer. If nothing is done to relieve itching, symptoms may continue a week or more. Scratching a bite may break the skin, resulting in secondary infections. However, chiggers are not known to transmit any disease in this country


Any critter that turns my body into a feeding tupe for sucking up my digested skin is definitely on my eechh list! :unsure:

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My understanding is that it's better to twist them once grasped in the tweezers, rather than to pull gently.  That way they will release themselves and you minimise the risk of leaving the head inside.


Here is one site - that talks about extracting. Sure there are about a billion. But I'm too busy hunting to read them all. :unsure:



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My understanding is that it's better to twist them once grasped in the tweezers, rather than to pull gently. That way they will release themselves and you minimise the risk of leaving the head inside.

Our first experience with a tick was in Washington State where they seldom see ticks. This one was stuck in our 4-year-old son's head. Took him to the doctor (unnecessary) and the doc used the hot wire to encourage the tick to back out. That killed the tick in place. Then he commenced to separate the tick's body from its head by using tweezers. That left cutting the tick head out and installing stitches as the final solution. Our son was NOT amused.


27 years ago we moved to California coastal tick country and my job takes me out into their habitat at least once a week. We originally heard that it is best to remove a tick by turning it clockwise. (Or was it counter clockwise?) But not long after that we learned the real tick puller's method:


You just pull it straight out like this topic suggests. Nobody I know uses tweezers and they don't twist. You gently work your thumbnail and middle finger nail as close to the skin and the tick's head as possible, pinch and pull. It will come out with a snap.


Tweezers leave you with the potential for separating the tick's body from its head because you can't accurately gauge the force you are applying. You don't want the head stuck in the skin. When ticks are in their "small" cycle they are very tiny and tweezers would be useless. NEVER try to make a tick back out by applying a hot object to it. They don't cooperate.


People around here with dogs and kids quickly loose interest in tweezers, twisting or any other "methods". They just yank them out as do we.


Humm.. I was out in the coastal grasslands this morning and now this topic is making me wonder if every little itch is a tick crawing on me as so often happens. Oh well...

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Next time you're in a veterinary office, see if you can get the veterinary techicians to show you what method they use to remove ticks (Not the doctor, they just assign this duty to the techs). Vet techs remove ticks all the time, sometimes many on just one animal. I've generally seen two main removal techniques, depending how long your fingernails are.

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Humm..  I was out in the coastal grasslands this morning and now this topic is making me wonder if every little itch is a tick crawing on me as so often happens.  Oh well...

Yeah! Took me about two hours to convince myself that every tickle and itch wasn't some kinda bug. "tickle and itch"? Boy, have I left myself open to some off-color comments.

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I don't know what it is about me and ticks. Maybe I'm just offensive to them, but I have never had the pleasure of being sucked on by a tick. People in my party get them, the dog gets them, I walk out clean every time. Same goes for chiggers. Mosquito's feast on me like carrion in the desert.


What attracts a tick in the first place? Motion, odors, heat? Are some people tick magnets while others have a natural repellant? Should I run out and buy a Lotto ticket?

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There is a risk of infection in humans.  Don't know if that happens with dogs.

Dogs, like humans, can catch Lyme, ehrlichia, and rocky mountain spotted fever. Your mileage may vary of course, depending on where you live. I've also been informed by the vet office that ticks removed promptly present less risk of infection. Apparently after the tick has been feeding for some time, it can regurgitate into the bite area and it is this that is really the vector for disease transmission.

Also from a post a couple up, ticks respond to motion, heat and carbon dioxide.

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I have had to pull many tics off my dog in the last 10 months since I started bringing him caching with me. The best tool I have found to remove them is a toe-nail clipper. I have one that is at a 90 degree bend and the way it is shaped gets you between it's head and the skin. You close it just enough to grab it without cutting it in half and gently pull until it lets go.

Last Saturday I went off-roading and broke my Bronco (see the Bad day of geocaching thread) and was under the Bronco at night. The next day I was getting in the shower and discovered one of those disgusting bugs sucking on my stomach. After doing the willies dance I grabbed the clippers and pulled him off. He climbed into the clippers to get away so I filled my sink half way and dropped the clippers in. when I was done with my shower and full check for more ticks he was floating in the sink. I squished him with pliers and ended the episode.


Oh yeah, The oil based tick and flea stuff works wonders for preventing ticks on your dog. The only drawback is that it smells and makes your dogs fur a little greasy.

Edited by Etrex Pirate
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I found a tick on my dog recently. It was white; I had never seen anything like it. It was big too, over 1/4 inche long. It detached itself just as I was about to remove it. I got advice from the folks at Petsmart. They mentioned I could use tweezers or my hand. They suggested I wear gloves if I used my hands so as not get any juices from the tick should I squeeze too hard. They said tick juices can be contaminated and infect you if you have an open wound, or cut yourself over the dried juices.

I will be taking our dog in to get a topical treatment (Frontline, similar to Advantage, but Frontline kills both fleas and ticks) that is guaranteed to last at least 30 days.

Somewhere else I read not to flush ticks down the drain as they will survive the trip; wrap them in foil and throw it in the trash instead.

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