The Great Tick Removal Of 2009

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

I took the kids and one of my dogs for a walk on the greeway earlier today, and we came back with a few hitchhikers. Ticks. I found, like, 5 on my daughter and one on my dog. Strange that she’d rack up more ticks than my dog, but whatever. I immediately thought back to a friend who had posted on Facebook that her son had a tick on him, and she was worried about pulling it out the regular tweezer way.

One of her other friends suggested putting liquid soap on the tick, then just swiping it away with a paper towel. My friend tried it and it worked like a charm. I had not seen this method before. Keep in mind that the ways our parents and grandparents have used to remove ticks may be dangerous, such as holding a match to the tick (possibility of burns), covering the tick in petroleum jelly or nail polish (causes the tick to spit bacteria back into the wound- ick).

If the liquid soap method doesn’t work, just use a pair of tweezers to gently pull the tick off the person. If tick mouth pieces remain, wash the area with soap and water and put a little alcohol on the area to disinfect.

If you’re concerned about whether you had the kind of ticks that carry Lyme disease (deer ticks), here’s a handy set of pictures to compare. In my case, it was the right sort of ticks, so we’ll be watching carefully to see if any symptoms develop.

Ugh, ticks. I feel all creepy-crawly just thinking about it. Anybody else have bug-hypochondria with me? (Where if any sorts of bugs that are creepy-crawly are even MENTIONED, you get itchy and your skin starts to crawl…I say, scratching my ankle.)


  1. Stacy on June 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    We get ticks a bit where we live, in the mountains of southern California, but not often. I do get all creeped out thinking about swarms of anything. Once we went on a hike and hit a swarm of ladybugs. Until that time, I thought they were cute, but thousands of anything is creepy. I can hardly think about cockroaches from some bad experiences…and ants used not to bother me, but since we have had some swarms, I hate seeing them at all. And don’t get me started on anything that stings. It has taken my whole life to just sit still when they come around. I don’t hate bugs in general, just those I’ve had yucky experiences with. However, I only get the creepy crawly feeling over roaches….ick ick ick.

  2. Diaper Cakes Becca on June 10, 2009 at 4:25 am

    By the way, fellow Home Ec-101 readers. Don’t forget to vote for this site over at the Blog Luxe awards!! We can all vote up to once a day!!
    Ivy and Heather simply must win this (afterall….we know how great this website is!)

    • ThatBobbieGirl on June 10, 2009 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ve voted several times, but I think I forgot yesterday!

  3. Valerie on June 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Oh, that’s awful! I’ve only had a couple experiences with them, but I was advised at one time to freeze the little buggers in a ziploc baggie. That way if symptoms do develop, you can bring the tick in and have it tested. Gross, I know. I saved one in the freezer for an entire summer once. I think the symptoms would have developed long before I finally decided to throw the baggie out…

    • Becki on June 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm

      I was just diagnosed with early stages of Lyme Disease, and the doctor didn’t really care about seeing the tick. In NY, they no longer test it. We have an 80% chance of getting LD here if you’re bitten, so I guess it’s easier to just prescribe the medicine than spend the money on the testing.

  4. Sara on June 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    The liquid soap does work–we use this on our golden–she thinks that she is getting a little massage. Much easier than tweezers and matches!!

    • Aunt B. on June 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      Cool. Then I am for sure trying it on my dog.

  5. Melissa on June 9, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I can deal with the ticks. It’s the clouds of mosquitoes I hate (Gulf Coast). I have been lucky enough to find 100% DEET for hiking excursions. I have heard that DEET can repel ticks for up to 8 hours, depending on the concentration.

  6. Jessica on June 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Ok, maybe I’m all “country”….but I use the “grip it and rip it” method. Reach down and pinch that sucker right where he’s biting you….then pull. Don’t yank, you’ll leave the head in….just pull till he’s out. I’ve never once left a head in…..of course, that’s probably all that hillbilly redneck blood….it frightens the ticks. LOL

  7. Diaper Cakes Becca on June 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

    THIS is probably the one thing I do not miss about the South in the summertime. Ticks are yucky, yucky, yucky. My childhood is jam packed with memories of tick checks, tucking pants into boots, wearing do-rags, etc. All because of the nasty little hitchhiker.

    I have never heard of the liquid soap trick but that sure does sound better than ripping it off or the burned match maneuvre.

    No ticks in Phoenix, yay!! Our buggy friends tend to be less invasive, at least.

    • Heather on June 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      My worst tick experience was in Superior, WI. So, it’s not just the south. 😉

  8. Pam on June 9, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Ugh… my arms are suddenly very itchy…

  9. ThatBobbieGirl on June 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

    After trying several methods that didn’t work, we just use the tweezers, then put an antiseptic on the area.

    Living in the woods for 10 years, I’ve had to deal with creepy crawly things on one of us (ticks, ants, spiders – and bites!) or in our house (carpenter ants, mice, voles, snakes, birds and bats, and one flying squirrel. Friends who live in town rather than the boonies like us will freak out if they have to set one mouse trap. To me, it’s just another thing on my to-do list.

  10. Veggiemomof2 on June 9, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I’d heard this tip before, but no one actually saying “I know this works”


  11. Jennifer on June 9, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I still stick the the old match method. It works every time and gets the ‘head parts’ out too. But I would never use a lit match. Instead light the match and let it burn for a second. Blow it out and while its still warm put the match head on the body of the tick. The little sucker backs himself right out!

  12. Aunt B. on June 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Ooo. Do you think the liquid soap trick would work on a dog, too? Because, if so, I’m about to get very excited.

    Here is a trick that always works for me–rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Just soak a cotton ball (or wad of toilet paper) with it and then place it over the tick. Leave it in place for five or ten seconds and the tick will back out and you can pull him right off without any danger of leaving the head behind.

    The problem with using that method on my dog is that the cold and smell of the rubbing alcohol kind of freaks her out. But I am going to try the liquid soap. That might be an awesome solution.

  13. Katie on June 9, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I’m in the bug-hypochondria boat, too. We’ve got a couple of ant nests on our porch, and for the past two days I’ve had to walk through a sea of ants to get out to my car. My legs feel itchy for HOURS after that.

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