Ticks are an unfortunate part of outdoor living. These little arachnids hitch a ride by biting and holding on, hoping not to be noticed while they gorge themselves on our blood. When you notice the offender in a panic, the initial reaction is to rip the tick off, but how do you know if a tick head is still in your skin?
How to Properly Remove a Tick
Ticks are notorious for being difficult to remove. Once they find an ideal place to perch, they spread back your skin with two sets of hooks before burying their hypostome into the gap it created. By taking these steps, the tick creates a secure hold for itself, which often means getting the parasite out in one piece can be difficult.
The first step to removing a tick is by performing a proper check for ticks. You’ll want to check yourself and family members, even the pets, carefully within the first 12 hours of being in an environment for ticks because if they are attached for 24-48 hours, they can pass along any diseases or other tick-borne illnesses to their host.
Your best chance of removing the tick in one go is by taking a clean pair of tweezers to get a firm hold on the tick right next to your skin. You do not want to crush the tick, but you want to apply enough pressure to hold it securely. With even pressure, you’ll need to pull straight up and away from the bite. Deposit the tick in alcohol to kill it, or if it has been attached for over 24 hours, you may want to place it in a plastic container and put it into the freezer to kill it and have it available if any testing is needed. Once the tick is removed, clean the area, preferably with alcohol, though hand sanitizer will do in a pinch.
Checking to See if A Tick Head is in Your Skin
What can you do if the tick didn’t come off in one go? First off, don’t panic. After you’ve taken a breath, clean the area thoroughly before carefully inspecting the bite to see what remains. If you accidentally decapitated the tick, you could grab the head with the tweezers, pulling back firmly with a straight upward motion. If you’re unable to get the tick’s head out, you may need to consult a doctor to remove it properly. Leaving it in your skin could lead to infection.
You’ll want to monitor the area even if the tick appears to be completely gone. A dark black dot could indicate that some part of the tick was left behind. If, after some time has passed, the skin becomes irritated and red or discolored, or you feel a bump where the bite was, you may need to see a dermatologist to safely remove the tick because it has lodged itself deep into your skin.
When to See a Doctor for a Tick Bite
Generally, you won’t need to see a doctor for most tick bites, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore a sign for potential issues. A rash or infection can be an early tell if there is a complication to a tick bite or if there is still a tick head in your skin. If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue, joint swelling, fever, nausea, or muscle pain, you should immediately consult your doctor.
Reduce the Risk to Your Family with Tick Control from The Mosquito Squad
Though it might not come to mind initially, The Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts provides fast-acting and reliable tick control for the area. Tick-borne diseases are not something to risk if you can practice tick control. The Mosquito Squad offers the 6 C’s of Tick Control that help pinpoint key areas of reducing the tick population around your home and property. When you have completed the first five, don’t forget the last step of calling the pros!
Reduce your chances of getting a tick-borne disease with the 6 C’s of Tick Control. Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts is looking forward to minimizing your chances of being bitten by a tick with our traditional tick barrier treatment. Contact us online or call us today for a free quote for your Southeastern Massachusetts Tick Control needs.