Facts & Myths about Ticks
MYTH #1 The best way to remove a tick is with a lit match, fingernail polish, or petroleum jelly
FACT: None of these methods cause the tick to “back out”, and all of them may actually result in the tick depositing more disease carying saliva into the wound, increasing the risk of infection. The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it as close to the skin as possible with tweezers (or a tick remover) and pull the tick’s body out with a steady motion. Wear rubber glovees, and clean the skin with soap and water after removal. Dispose of the tick by placing it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
MYTH #2 Lyme disease is the only illness that ticks can transmit to dogs and humans.
FACT: Lyme is the most widely known and common tick disease, but there are many others that ticks carry and can transmit to dogs and people. These include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis (dog fever), chrlichiosis, and some emerging diseases with potentially devastating effects.
MYTH #3 If I find a tick on myself or someone in my family Lyme and other tick diseases can be ruled out immediately with a blood test.
FACT: Laboratory results for tick-borne illness in people are often negative and require a second test two to three weeks later to confirm infection. Children are more susceptible to infection due to their immature immune systems. Signs of Lyme are flu-like symptoms such as fever and malaise with or without a bull’s-eye rash, but many people (& dogs) with tick-borne illness don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
MYTH #4 Ticks live in trees, so as long as I don’t live near or visit a wooded area, I don’t have to worry about them.
FACT: Ticks live on the ground no matter the locale, be it an urban park or a rural area. They typically crawl up from grass blades onto a host and migrate upware, which is why they’re often found on the scalp.
MYTH #5 Ticks are insects.
FACT: Ticks are actually a species of parasite called arachnids that belong to the family of mites.