Remove ticks correctly: Here’s how!

Remove ticks correctly: Here's how!

If you discover a tick on yourself or someone else, it is essential to act quickly. The longer the parasite remains in the skin, the greater the risk that the animal will transmit dangerous Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease, into the blood. But be careful when removing it; otherwise, the transmission of the bacteria can even be promoted. Home remedies such as oil often do more harm than good. We tell you how to remove a tick properly, what to do if a black dot remains in the wound, when to see a doctor after a tick bite, and how to protect yourself from ticks.

How dangerous are ticks?

Ticks can transmit numerous diseases, including Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Other diseases rarely transmitted by the parasites in this country include neo-ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

The Hyalomma tick originates from the tropics and is now being seen more and more frequently in Germany. It is significantly larger than the domestic wooden goat and has striped legs. In addition to humans, this species likes to infest horses, which is why riders are particularly at risk. Hyalomma ticks are considered possible carriers of the Crimean-Congo finger.

To keep the risk of infection as low as possible, a tick should permanently be removed as soon as possible. Although the transmission of TBE viruses begins immediately after the tick bite, it can take twelve to 24 hours before infection with Lyme disease bacteria occurs. Ticks should, therefore, be removed within twelve hours.


Remove tick correctly: 9 tips.

If you have found a tick bite, the tick must be removed properly and carefully. Improper removal can even increase the risk of transmitting pathogens since the tick can vomit at the bite site, and pathogens can get into the blood.

You should note that:

  1. Only remove the arachnid with the tools provided for this purpose, such as tick tweezers, tick cards or special tick tweezers.
  2. If necessary, you can also use standard tweezers. With some practice, you can also remove ticks with your fingernails, but there is a risk of crushing the animal.
  3. Avoid other “home remedies” such as rubbing oil, glue or nail polish on the tick.
  4. Be careful not to injure the tick and, above all, not to squeeze its abdomen; otherwise, its saliva or intestinal contents could get into the wound. It should, therefore, be grabbed as close to the skin as possible.
  5. Ticks have barbs and stick to the skin. Therefore, jerky movements should be avoided.
  6. Contrary to the recommendation often heard, it is not advisable to unscrew the tick; rather, you should carefully pull or push it out. However, a slight twisting or careful shaking and prying motion at the beginning can help detach the tick from the skin.
  7. If necessary, use a magnifying glass if you can’t see the tick well, and if necessary, ask someone for help if you can’t reach the spot quickly.
  8. After removing the tick, you should disinfect the wound. It is best to use alcohol or an ointment containing iodine.
  9. It would help if you did not crush the removed tick with your bare fingers to avoid infection. Use a rock to do this along the way. At home, you can wrap the bloodsucker in a handkerchief and crush it, for example, with a coin on a hard surface. You can dispose of the dead tick in the toilet.


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