Friday, July 25, 2014

Evil Tick Beasts

While spending two weeks camping at Loft Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, I checked the girls and myself daily for ticks. Nearly every day, I found at least one embedded tick and many more that I flicked off before they could bite.

I remember finding a teeny tiny tick on my 3 year old and showing another mother in the bathroom. She was shocked how tiny ticks can be and told me that she had not checked herself or her children even once for ticks during their four day visit.

Even embedded ticks are easy to remove if you catch them within the first couple of hours. I take my needle nose tweezers, grab the tick as close to my skin as I can, and gently pull for up to three minutes. I wait for the tick to get tired so it comes out whole. If you pull too hard too fast, the head of the tick breaks off and stays inside your body. Yuck. 

The tick below came off my 8 year old easily because we caught it early. It had only bitten into the outer layer of the skin on her scalp. The tick is very much alive after removal and still clutching a bit of human skin in its mouth.

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