Ticks are gross, but they are a fact of life if you spend any amount of time in the woods. Knowing how to remove them is super important.
There are three kinds of ticks found in Wisconsin. The Deer Tick and Wood Tick are very common and the Lone Star Tick is very rare, but is sometimes seen in the southern part of the state.
The most common concern for a tick bite is the risk of contracting Lyme Disease. My mom and both of my dogs have Lyme Disease and it’s very common in my area to get it.
Lyme Disease is carried by Deer Ticks. Other types of ticks carry other diseases, but with any type of tick, if you remove it right away (within 24 hours is what I’ve always heard), you’re usually fine. If you develop flu symptoms, go to a doctor right away.
Ticks don’t usually jump, so the most common way to get one on you is by brushing a plant that it’s crawling on. Avoiding trees and tall grass is a great way to avoid ticks.
Wearing clothing that provides full coverage is also a great way to prevent ticks. My mom tucks her pants legs into her socks when she goes hiking or does work on her farm to avoid having ticks get on her ankles and crawl up her pant legs. Wearing yoga pants or any other type of clothing too tight for ticks to crawl under is another way to prevent ticks from getting on you. If they can’t get to your skin, they can’t bite you.
If you do get one on you, they don’t always bite you right away, so if you feel one crawling on you, you can just pick it off and kill it or throw it away if it hasn’t bitten you yet.
To remove a tick, use a tweezers and grab it as close to your skin as possible to make sure to get its head. I like to use pointy tweezers for this. The Revlon Mini Tweezer Set is great for sticking in your backpack and using to remove ticks. It’s also super cheap on Amazon.
The pointy ends make it super easy to get as close as possible to the skin to make sure you’ve gotten as much of the tick as possible.
Remove it gently so you don’t hurt yourself or accidentally leave parts of it in your skin.
Wash the wound and your hands (and the tweezer!) with soap and water and use alcohol to help prevent getting an infection.
I’ll update this post with more pictures if (when?) I get bitten again or find a tick on Rascal or Moky or Kreacher that hasn’t gotten engorged yet.