Ticks are small insects that are related to spiders. They often vary in size and color depending on the type of tick. The two most common types are the pea-sized dog tick and the freckle-sized deer tick.
A tick bite from the deer tick can transmit Lyme disease, which can prove to be fatal if not treated properly.
Removing ticks from your yard:
Diatomaceous earth is a natural compound that kills fleas and ticks. The compound is also completely nontoxic to people and pets. It can be used outside or inside the home.
Diatomaceous earth can also be used to treat grain in silos, as a mineralizer in pet food and as a de-wormer for cats and dogs. If you have a mouse problem, you can also use this substance as a means to repel mice and other vermin.
To use as a tick treatment, sprinkle the powder around the perimeter of the yard and near trees, bushes and wooded areas.
You can also create a mixture of powder and water in a spray bottle to distribute the mixture. However, using the concentrated powder is more efficient and a better method of tick removal.
Removing a tick from people or pets:
The prompt removal of ticks whenever they are found, is the single most important thing you can do to protect against tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease. There is evidence that disease transmission occurs only after many hours of feeding so the quicker the tick is removed the less chance there is for disease organisms to be spread.
What not to do:
Do not put anything on the tick in an effort to smother it in the hope of ofrcing the tick to let go. When ticks bite, they seal their mouthparts onto the wound and they are unable to back away until feeding is complete.
Try not to squeeze the tick. This may disgorge fluid and disease organisms into the wound.
What to do:
The easiest, and safest, way to remove a tick is to grab it by the mouthparts and pull straight up.
To do this, use a tick removal tool that slips over the tick and pinches the mouthparts. You can also use a loop of strong sewing thread or fishing line to lasso the mouthparts by passing the loop over the back of the tick and pulling on the ends of the line until the tick pops off. A stiff fishing line works better.
You can also use tweezers to carefully snag the mouthparts. Just be careful not to stab your patient with the pointed end.
If the tick has embedded itself into soft tissue, you may not be able to see the mouthparts. In this case, grab the tick’s body as gently as possible and twist it out trying not to squeeze it any harder than necessary. Don’t worry if the mouthparts break off in the wound. At worst, they will cause a minor secondary infection.
Finally, clean the wound and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic. Keep an eye on the bite for a few days to make sure any infection does not get worse. If the area around the wound looks inflamed or is tender, or if a bulls eye rash develops and grows, seek medical attention.
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