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How To Remove And Prevent Tick Bites in Humans

How To Remove And Prevent Tick Bites in Humans

 Just about anyone who goes out into the wild - whether you're a hiker, camping or a prepper doing some bug out practice, will have a very good chance of making friends with a tick.!
The first signs of these nasty little buggers will be an itch, straight away you should be able to feel if a tick has then attached itself to your body.
Bear in mind that a tick can start out very small, under 1/2mm is quite common, so a good visual inspection is recommended in order to identify the tick.

* What to do if you find a tick.

Firstly, don't panic.. At this stage you are perfectly safe. It's NOT going to gnaw your arm off.!

DO NOT -

Try to dig it out with your fingernail, or a knife, or club it to death - you will just make things worse.

AVOID ALL THE WIVES TAILS - 

Do not paint anything on the ticks body or your own skin.
Do not smoother with Vaseline.
Do not cover with nail varnish.
Do not apply heat or a flame.

The reason for NOT doing any of the above is very simple - they do not work.  
In fact some will make the situation considerably worse and will quite easily cause additional infection and even serious diseases. 

The Tick before ​& after feeding

* Are Ticks Bites Dangerous To Humans 

Simply answer: Yes, they can be, if left untreated.
Ticks can carry a disease called 'Lyme Disease', which, if not treated quickly can be very dangerous.

Not all ticks carry the disease. But if you are bitten and show signs of redness, with a red circle or target like shape, immediate medical treatment is definitely advised.

 The disease is an infection quite easily transmitted via the bite of a tick that is infected with a bacterium called Borrelia Burgdorferi

A tick will normally get infected with the bacterium by biting infected animals, these would typically be deer and mice.

However, most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease.
But it is essential to be alert and check yourself, and check each other for signs of actual ticks and possible bite areas.

* Different Types Of Ticks

There are some 20 different species of tick that inhabit the UK mainland -

  • Generally found in areas of woodland - in particular you will find them amongst deciduous and mixed woodland areas, in the rough upland and moorland pastures, in heath-land and grasslands. But can also be found urban/suburban park areas and gardens.

TYPICAL ​​​​TICK DEVELOPMENT

However, there are only a few main types of tick which are found regularly in the UK, with the species most likely to bite us humans here in Britain known is the Sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus.
Despite referring to sheep, its name, sheep tick actually feeds from quite a wide variety of birds and mammals.
Having a tick bite from the other ticks are possible, and these include from the Hedgehog tick, Ixodes hexagonus, and the Fox or Badger tick, Ixodes canisuga..

* Diseases Attributed To Ticks

There a quite a few diseases related to "tick bites" - if treated early they are minor, however, the main disease transmitted by ticks on humans are:

  • Lyme disease
  • tick-borne encephalitis
  • rickettsiosis
  • anaplasmosis
  • tick-fever

* Symptoms of a tick born disease.

The main symptoms of a tick-borne infection are generally:

  1. fever
  2. joint pains
  3. tiredness
  4. flu-like symptoms
  5. paralysis
  6. headaches

*in all cases - you must consult a doctor as soon as you can and receive the appropriate treatment.

* Why A Tick Can Lead To Infection In Humans

Ticks are host to all sorts of diseases and can be considered second only to mosquitoes, in terms of the number of pathogens vectored. All ticks require blood in order for them to survive and reproduce.

They will embed themselves [specifically, their head section] into their host  and most commonly around areas where the skin is thin - (the back of the knee, the armpit, the groin). 

They will insert their rostrums in the skin and then secrete various substances through their saliva glands which then allows the tick to anchor itself solidly into your skin and to suck your blood.

* How To Remove A Tick In Humans

It is extremely important to remove the whole tick as soon as possible - especially the head section - if any part of the head is left behind it can very easily cause infection.

DO NOT USE TWEEZERS.
Any attempt to squeeze the tick will result in regurgitation VIA THE TICKS MOUTH that is embedded into your skin and the danger of pathogens entering your bloodstream. 

THE TICK MUST BE REMOVE WHOLE.

* Tools Available To Remove A Tick Easily

There are a couple of very good and cheap tools available that make removing a tick safe and easy – I carry with me the O’TOM TICK TWISTER, This little gadget costsunder £4 inc VAT & delivery and is by far the best method I have found for tick removal.

It is very compact and I keep them in my first aid kit. taking up next to no room at all. So far they have worked perfectly each time I have used one.

* Ways To Prevent A Tick Bite

1. Use an insect repellent.

Always use insect repellents that are 20 to 30 percent DEET, as this is undoubtedly the best repellent against ticks.
Use anytime in wooded areas, places with lots of bushes, or areas with high grass cover.
Also spray your clothing, backpacks, hats and other gear. Although it may be a bit sticky, deet spray is by far the most effective against ticks and other nasties. 

2. Check for ticks daily.

This sounds obvious, but a lot of people forget.  It is also the most important thing you can do against tick attack.
A ticks must be attached to your body for 36-48 hours to transmit the disease, so it makes sense how important it is to check for a tick as this method can go a long way toward preventing the disease.
You must do a full body search..!
Top to bottom, head-to-toe tick search will make sure your tick free each night; A tick, being so naturally small, can easily hide in the smallest of places.
They will hide in the hair, in the armpits, in the groin area, and even inside your ears.


3. Shower after outdoors activity (preferably within 2 hours).

This can easily wash away ticks, but more importantly, it will give you a chance to do a full head-to-toe check.
Wash clothes or throw your gear into a hot dryer.


4. If you see a rash, or develop a fever, it may be a sign of a bite - visit your doctor.


In a lot of cases, some 70-80 percent, there is a rash at the site of the tick bite. Easily distinguished by its a round, target-like shaped rash that spreads out.  

Some other symptoms to look out for are: fever, chills, muscle or joint aches and swollen lymph nodes.
Of course, there are plenty of other causes for these exact symptoms, but if you have been in the outdoors it's always best to be on the safe side and visit your doctor.

* Useful Video Advice

This is a very useful video - from Lyme Disease Action, and very well explained.

Steve Hart UK Prepper

If you do any type of outdoor activity it's worth checking for tick bites.  Especially wild camping or similar.
These little buggers are very small and can easily go un-noticed, unless you check yourself and become aware of the possible risk, especially if you do find one attached to you.
My best advice is to wear long trousers and tuck into your boots, as well as a long sleeved shirt if your wadding through the undergrowth - give yourself a good spray with some Deet Insect Repellent as well, and then have a good check at the end of the day.
If you are unlucky and find one attached, then don't panic, and simply remove with a Good Tick Removal Tool.
It's also worth cleaning the area with an antiseptic wipe, and even applying some antiseptic cream, that way you have covered all the bases.
Keep an eye on the area bitten to make sure it does not swell up or get any bigger - if it does, go see your doctor and tell him exactly what has bitten you.
Happy Prepping Folks,  Steve

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