IN THE COURTYARD: First rule when you spot a tick on yourself: Don’t panic | Garden & Landscape
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a specific recommendation for removing encrusted ticks and treating tick bites. Since these people are doctors who have accumulated several decades of research on tick bites, we can trust their recommendations:
Use tweezers to grab the tick near its head and apply constant pressure to pull it out. Try not to crush it. Eliminate the tick by flushing it down the toilet or wrapping it in duct tape and putting it in the trash.
Treat the bite with alcohol to prevent infection and wash your hands after removing the tick.
An important thing to know about tick bites is that some diseases take 24 hours or more to spread to a human. Lyme disease is one of them. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be transmitted in as little as two hours. But other diseases, like Powassan, can be transmitted within minutes.
When a tick is found, it should be removed quickly. If I work outside and find one attached, I’ll grab it, pull it out, and then go inside for some rubbing alcohol. I will also use some kind of anti-itch cream, as the bite itches like any other insect bite.
It is important to remember where the tick was attached. Look at this place for several weeks. If a rash develops or you develop a fever, you should see a doctor promptly. They can check if you have a tick-borne illness. Tick disease can start to appear within a few days or it can take several weeks. If a rash develops around a tick bite, it may or may not be a serious illness. Let a doctor make this decision as in many cases it can be a simple allergic reaction. In other words, don’t panic.