What Does a Tick REALLY Look Like?

Author: Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham

Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sometimes so tiny you can barely see. These are the descriptions you normally get when reading about our blood-sucking little friends. But most pictures, like this one from the CDC, are ticks before they are engorged. A full tick can look completely different. So much so that you might not recognize it. The girl in this story by Marci Robin in Allure magazine certainly did not.

In 2015 dermatologist Sandra Lee of LA posted a video to YouTube of a recent appointment that you might not believe. A girl came in concerned with a growth on her side that she wanted to be removed. Easy enough right, this is what dermatologist do. Imagine the feeling when Dr. Lee told her that it wasn’t a growth at all but an attached tick instead.

The good news in this story is that the doctor was able to completely remove the tick and found that it was not infected with a disease.

Dr. Lee did not post the video on YouTube to embarrass the girl or for its disgust factor, but to remind people of the importance of checking for ticks. And if you watch the video you’ll also notice the tick actually walks away. That’s because Lee removed it according to the CDC’s safe tick removal recommendations. You may have heard of using nail polish, peppermint oil, or Vaseline, but the only safe and proper way to remove a tick is to take tweezers and pull directly out of the skin, getting as close to the mouth as possible. Don’t twist or turn and remove all pieces if possible. Then clean the wound well with peroxide or alcohol and soap and water.

At Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, there are three things we would like you to walk away with here.

First: know what ticks look like, big fat full ticks look completely different than before a blood meal.

Second: quick and correct removal of ticks is important in terms of lowering the risk for tick-borne illness.

Third: let us help you keep the ticks off your property so that one and two are not an issue. Call us today so we can create the plan that’s best for you and get your first treatment scheduled.