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Old 03-04-2012, 08:42 PM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: pangolandia
Posts: 3,206
Are people confusing ticks and chiggers? Mites? Bot fly larvae?

Ticks do not burrow under the skin, they imbed their sucking mouthparts just under the skin, only.

Ticks range greatly in size partly dependent on species and partly on larval stage. They can be smaller than a mustard seed. I pull ticks off myself and my family and my dogs, seasonally (here, it is winter/spring), and have for thirty years. I know from ticks.

Removing ticks is all about not pulling their bodies off while leaving their mouthparts under your skin. That makes an unpleasant scab, after digging into yourself with sharp instruments trying to remove them. I just use my fingers, nothing else. No twisting, no applications of heat or chemicals -- those are bunk. Don't try to poison or suffocate your tick. They ideally should come out alive, because you want them to release their hold on you, and they lack that kind of decision-making power after they're dead. You want to grab firmly as close to the skin as ever you can get (get the skin as taut as possible to facilitate the requisite closeness), and pull slowly until you hear that faint 'click' that means they've let go.

After that, opinons differ. I like to toss them on a hot woodstove and watch them pop. My daughter favors pulling them into two pieces and my husband shudders and flushes them down the sink.