CDC informs residents on how to safely remove ticks

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FILE – In this March 24, 2017 photo, a tick is displayed in Plainville, Mass. A late-summer drought virtually eliminated ticks in parts of New England but they’re back with a vengeance this spring. Dog ticks, which do not carry Lyme disease, have been especially active since early spring in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in 2021. (Paul Connors/The Sun Chronicle via AP)

NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The colder weather brings the increased issue of ticks along with it, making it critical that residents know how to remove the blood-sucking pest.

Tick bites can be especially dangerous to humans and other mammals due to their ability to spread illnesses. In the North Country, the main concern is the deer tick which can spread both Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis, which are bacterial infections.

To help combat these infections residents should remove ticks they find on their bodies immediately. Although there are many tick removal devices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that those affected use a simple pair of tweezers to remove the pest.

The CDC advises residents to use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible and then pull upward with steady even pressure. They warn against twisting to jerking the tick as it could cause parts of the pest’s mouth to break off and remain in the skin. If that does happen, residents should attempt to remove the mouthparts if possible. If not, they should leave it alone and allow the skin to heal.

After removing the tick from the skin, individuals should thoroughly clean the bite area and both of their hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. The live tick should be disposed of by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Residents should never crush the tick with their fingers.

The CDC also advises residents to avoid “folklore remedies” like painting the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. If they develop a rash or fever residents are advised to tell their doctor about the bite and when it occurred.

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