Lets start with the basics - what are they?
Ticks are small, blood sucking arachnids (yes - arachnids, not insects). They have 8 legs and a round body that can swell to 3 times its size when they are feeding on a host. They survive the winter by living underground and typically start to come out when it’s consistently over 5 degrees outside. They thrive in tall grass and brush - so if you’re around this type of conditions, make sure you check your body, your kids, and your pets when you come inside!
What happens if you get bit?
Ticks don’t usually bite right away, they try to “hide” somewhere on the body before latching on. They like smooth skin, so they typically latch in the hairline, behind the ears, armpits, skin folds, in your socks, etc. Don’t freak out if you get bit, but you’ll want to remove the tick as quickly as possible. (see below for how-to instructions on removing ticks properly)
Even after the tick is removed, you’ll want to keep an eye on the area. If a red rash or circle appears within a week or so, it may be a sign of lyme disease. If this happens, you’ll want to see a doctor as soon as possible for treatment.
How do you remove them?
The key to removing a tick properly is to make sure you remove the tick in its entirety. Using tweezers or pulling on the tick can result in only removing a part of it, the head can be left behind under the skin.
We recommend using a tick removal tool, like the tick twister. You would hook the twister around the tick, lift a little without pulling, and rotate in a twisting motion until the tick detaches on its own. A tool like this removes the tick without squeezing it, which lowers the risk of infection, and removes the tick in one piece, ensuring that the head is not left under the skin.