Ticks carry diseases. Thereís nothing new in that little bit of information. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there about ticks and the diseases they spread that deserve some analysis. In light of The U.S. Centers for Disease Controlís (CDC) report on an uptick (no pun intended) in the number of illnesses often spread by these little arachnids, itís important we distinguish between the truth and the mythology.
False: The most effective tick removal methods include: fire, alcohol, petroleum jelly, or any combination of the three.
True: The aforementioned removal techniques may actually do more harm than good, causing the tick to release more bacteria into the wound through its saliva. Tweezers are actually the best implement in tick removal; just grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as you can, and pull using a controlled motion. Be sure to clean the wound thoroughly after disposing of the tick. For more information on how to kill ticks, consult your local veterinarian or authorities on pest extermination.
False: Diagnosing Lyme disease involves a quick and simple blood test, which can be administered hours after exposure to the tick.
True: Lab results for tick-borne illnesses donít necessarily reveal infection immediately. It can sometimes take up to a month to confirm positive results.
False: Adults are more susceptible to tick-borne illnesses.
True: Children have immature immune systems than adults and are typically more susceptible than those of us with an accumulation of natural immunities.
False: You donít have to worry about ticks in the winter because they canít survive frigid climates. True: Ticks tend to feed most between the months of April and November. Frighteningly, ticks sometimes move indoors during the winter and people are in even more danger of catching their diseases.
False: Ticks live in trees, so people living in areas non-wooded areas donít really have to worry about being exposed to infection.
True: Ticks actually live on the ground, no matter where they are in the world. Theyíre typically found on the scalp because they work their way up there in response to the heat and the carbon dioxide warm-blooded animals emit, most of which leaves the body through the head.
False: Ticks are insects. True: Ticks are in fact arachnids, like spiders or mites. Probably another reason theyíre inherently despised.
Keep these things in mind next time you encounter a tick or find one on you or your pet. Before removing one, consult the aforementioned techniques; consult veterinarians or authoritative websites if you want to know how to kill ticks; and consult the CDC for symptoms associated with tick-borne illnesses.