Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tick Talk

Last week Wendy forwarded instructions for "easy tick removal" to me. It was one of those e-mail forwards urging you to continue the chain of forwards, which I complied with by sending along to Jermaine. After all, we live in Maine and have deer in our backyard – the fear of Lyme Disease is real for us. “Tick checks” occur daily at our house during the summer months.

On Sunday, while sitting in church, I looked over at Amelle and brushed her long thick hair over to one side of her neck. I then noticed a small brown dot on her freshly exposed neck; it looked like a slightly raised freckle. I was suspicious, so I quietly pointed it out to Jermaine and communicated via facial expression that I wanted his opinion. He took an initial look, then went back for a second look, “it’s a tick” he whispered, which confirmed my fear. “What do I do” I asked frantically. I knew it was a deer tick – the kind that carries Lyme disease.

“Take her to the ladies room and do the thing with the hand-soap that was in that e-mail you sent me” he calmly whispered. By this time Amelle was in full panic mode – she knew there was a tick on her and she had just seen us pull a wood tick off of Mina’s neck with tweezers two weeks prior – she wanted nothing to do with any of that. Her eyes were big and ready for some crying, but she stayed strong as I walked her quickly down the isle and into the ladies room. ...I was still awe-struck that Jermaine had actually read one of my e-mails (a “forward” no less!).

We went to the ladies room and I applied a glob of hand-soap to a paper towel and onto Amelle’s neck. After a few seconds, I removed it and noticed that the tick seemed to be further out (I could now clearly see it’s little legs). I brushed it off onto the paper towel with my fingernail. It was quick and painless. I called the pediatrician and asked if I should give Amelle any preventative antibiotics, but she said it wasn’t necessary, just to watch for a rash and flu-like symptoms. I’m happy to report that there haven’t been either.

After reviewing the instructions in the e-mail message, it looks like I probably should’ve left the soap on longer than I did, but it worked pretty well anyway. I wanted to share this information with you because it was really helpful for me.

Easy Tick Removal:

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that is frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me. This should work on animals, also.

-Written by “a school nurse”. (too bad she didn’t get the credit she deserves for this one! I think she should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize).


MaineMomKC5 said...

I wish I had received that email when we found the tick behind Mina's ear - I know that hurt coming out!! I'm glad you were able to test that technique out and even more glad to hear it worked!!

It would've been hard to apply dish soap on my butt, but I would've tried!! Yes, people, I had a tick (not deer tick) on my buttock. They like fatty areas!!

T5M said...

...the guy that did our siding last year had one on his butt too - (no, I didn't see it - Jerms told me about it, ...and no, he didn't see it - this was all word of mouth!)

As the story goes, he didn't want to ask his teenage son to help him get it off, so he grabbed a knife and started digging around on his own butt to remove it (I guess it was already imbedded) - apparently he made quite a mess down there - too bad he didn't know the soap trick!

Kristy & John said...

I think we used to use alcohol to get them to come out. Then my dad would actually burn them because he said that was the only way they would die - don't know if it's true or not, but it brings back some pretty gross memories (I had one in my ear once)

The Gawel's said...

good info!

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

my parents found a brown spot on my head when i was i sat on the floor in front of my dad's recliner and he proceeded to put the blower dryer on my head at full heat (that was better than a lit cigarette!). after lots of tears, the thing wasn't moving! come to find was a beauty mark!! gotta love us city folks! :-D soap sounds a lot less painful!

Florida/MaineMom said...

Do they have a cure for Bats in your house?

Had one in the house last night! Rats in Florida and Bats in Maine.

I must have a connection with the rodent family!

Kristy & John said...

That's what it was - Nancy! The lit cigarette! I was thinking maybe it was a lighter, but then I thought that would be too painful.

MaineMomKC5 said...

Yes, burning a tick to kill it is the best way. Those suckers don't die very easily!! I like burning them b/c I have such disdain for them.

I can understand why we have bees and other pesky bugs, but why ticks? What good do they do?? Did God put two on the ark? If he did, I'm "ticked" off!! Ha ha ha ha...ahem.

Erin, once you get Hunter, you are going to have to "tick check" him as well!!

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

hmmm...after your mom's comment, maybe we'll leave the Big Guy at home when we make the trek up to ME....

T5M said...

...I flushed Amelle's down the toilet - Ut oh! I hope it doesn't climb back up and latch on to someone's bottom (or worse!).

Mom: Rodents love us. Shaun had a mouse (that was Wendy's "in" to get Maisy the cat). We now have another mouse (1 down, hopefully just 1 left to go). The only good thing about me having mice is that it means that we no longer have snakes! :-)

TheKeyRing said...

Don't snakes eat mice? I think you need a cat!

Trish said...

yeah, i have to agree with the previous comment. you don't need a mouse for a snake, you need a cat for a mouse! (sounds like a bad country song.) we have ticks here all the time. i pull them off of the kids with tweezers without too much pain, but the soap sounds like a good solution. i once pulled twenty five off of our dog at one time!!

T5M said...

...I meant that the snakes eat all the mice, so the fact that we have mice in our house, indicates that we don't have as many snakes in the yard eating them!

Last year: Tons of snakes = no mice.

This year: No snakes = mice

...we need to borrow Maisy the mouse slayer!

MaineMomKC5 said...

Well, Maisy the Mouse Slayer brought a snake into our garage last night!! As your mom would say, "EEEEK!!"

We think she brought it in as it had a visible wound on it (from being carried). So not only does she slay mice, she also slays snakes (but, she may bring them closer which is not a good idea for you Erin). Perhaps you just go get yourself a cat since you are getting a dog now. Become a farm like us. You certainly have the room for it!!