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Old 05-19-2000, 07:43 PM
José Aburrido José Aburrido is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 19
I own a few acres in the country and there are many ticks there. What is the best tick removal method (after they have attached themselves)? I have heard so many ways. I have alternately heard you should never pull them off--there heads will stay in you, and that you should pull them off as any other method will result in them releasing some poison before they get off you. I have heard that you should use hairspray, nail polish removal, burn them-ouch ect. What is the best way? Also I have a garden out there and I bought a tick insecticide for use around the garden. Will the insecticide harm the vegetables (or me if I eat them)? Also the garden is crawling with lady bugs, will the insecticide harm them?
Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?!?
Old 05-19-2000, 08:46 PM
August West August West is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: The Cheese Belt
Posts: 4,766
The best way to remove a tick is with a pair of forceps. Grab the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull firmly and steadily. Don't yank it.After removing, use a magnifying glass to insure the jaws of the tick have been removed,if not, get them with a tweezers. The other methods you describe will simply kill the tick and then you stll have to remove it. BTW, ticks will not poison you.
Old 05-19-2000, 08:46 PM
Joe_x Joe_x is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 65
I grew up on a farm, however I have been away for a long time and I haven't done battle with a tick in a long time. As I remember though some rubbing alcahol dripped on the tick where it is attached and then grab it around the mouth with some tweezers. Then yank the blood sucking bastard off. Grabbing it back towards the back of the tick on its body will make it effectively puke its tick blood, guts, and tick germs into the wound. Make sure you grab them by the mouth.
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Old 05-19-2000, 10:13 PM
Wood Thrush Wood Thrush is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 339

NEVER put nail polish remover, hairspray, flame or other intense heat, rubbing alcohol, etc. on the tick. Never.

Joe_X is wrong: do not use rubbing alcohol and do not "yank" them. Pull with a firm but not excessive force slowly and eventually they will come out. Grab them nearest to the head that you can.

CheifWahoo was correct, except for one part:
BTW, ticks will not poison you
This is a bit misleading. Although they will not poisoin you literaly, they can ingest very serious diseases such as Lyme's Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Some good ways to discourage ticks are to wear long white clothing that is tucked in and to cut tall weeds in your yard.

More Info:

National Lyme Disease Foundation Click on next and go through all info to get precautions, etc. Very interesting and informative!

Lymes Disease Tick Removal even has an illustration of how to grip the tick during removal.

From another Lymes Disease site, about 3/4 way down the page:
Prompt removal of ticks decreases the chances of getting Lyme disease. The proper and easiest method is to grasp the tick with fine tweezers, as near the skin as you can, and gently pull it straight out. Be careful not to squeeze the tick when removing it which could result in more bacteria being injected. Do not try to remove the tick with your fingers or attempt to remove with lighted cigarettes, matches, nail polish, or vaseline.
A site on LymeNet:
If a tick is found, remove it carefully with fine tweezers. Grab as closely to the skin as possible. Do not squeeze the body, apply Vaseline, use a burnt match, or clean with alcohol while the tick is attached. Any of these actions could cause transmission of the bacteria.
Old 05-19-2000, 10:19 PM
Wood Thrush Wood Thrush is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 339

hmm... what did I do wrong?????

[Moderator's note: I cleaned up the mess. With the new software, one has to use quotation marks around the URL in addition to the other coding. -manhattan]
Old 05-19-2000, 10:33 PM
soulsling soulsling is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,857
Check the archives guy.
The Straight Dope Mailbag: Are you supposed to twist ticks counter-clockwise to remove them?
This is ME! [/i]
Old 05-19-2000, 10:34 PM
justwannano justwannano is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: S.E.Iowa USA
Posts: 2,773
tick removal

I suppose if you find a tick on you you could take the time to go and find a pair of forceps or tweezers but I hate the damned things and usually just pull them off. been doing that for 40years. never had one leave its mouth or anything else behind. Thats the way we do it with the dogs too.
Really I can't remember the last time I had one burrowed in.I usually feel them crawling long before they bite.
"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
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If your mind should go blank, Don't forget to mute the sound.
Old 05-19-2000, 11:44 PM
Mazey Mazey is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 152
Interestingly enough, down here, they recommend none of the above methods, suggesting instead that you use a credit card to remove the tick (and I don't think they mean charge it to someone). They suggest this, I suppose by slipping the card between the body of the tick and its attachment, and then lifting upward, so the head will stay with the tick when it's removed. (Haven't had any ticks so I can't say whether or not this is easy or even possible.)

As far as the insecticide doing harm to your ladybugs, I'd think that is highly probable.
A ship in the harbor is safe, but that isn't what a ship is built for.
Old 05-20-2000, 09:05 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 45,881
I read that you could cover the tip of a broom
straw with Krazy Glue, put it on the tick and
pull it out. Don't know if it works.
Old 05-20-2000, 10:13 AM
Dystopos Dystopos is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Birmingham, AL, USA
Posts: 219
Jusging from what seems the more authoritative information brought into this thread, I'd say that you should ABSOLUTELY NOT go to a doc-in-the-box for tick removal.

My experience was that the fool in the labcoat first tried the alcohol method, to no avail... and THEN tried the flame method, without washing the alcohol out of my hair first.

I felt like Michael Jackson on the Pepsi shoot.

The tick did leave, though.
"There was detachment in his zeal and curiosity in his indifference." - Henry James
Old 05-20-2000, 01:30 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,793
Whatever happend to "lefty loosy, righty tighty?"


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