Ohio State's College of Food , Agriculture and Environmental Sciences has published an article In the article Glen Needum, retired entomologist and tick expert, formerly at OSU Extension, he said that he had collected the first deer tick nymph here in Coshocton County this season.
This is certainly not my first time writing about ticks for this column, it is such an important topic that I think it's worth repeating another year to make sure we get the right formation on best practices
A friend told me that she had read a recommendation on Facebook to apply a dollop of soap to a cotton ball and place it over an embedded tick. The post, which incidentally had been split thousands of times, claimed that the tick would come off after a few seconds of dabbing. This contradicts everything that I heard from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), so I decided to investigate.
In fact, every myth-racking page out there came to the same conclusion. It may work at times, but for several reasons it is not the best course of action. The CDC promotes the removal of ticks as soon as possible. This is because the longer a tick is attached, the more chance there is of disease transmission should it be a carrier of harmful vectors. The study results are inconsistent as the length of tick attachment correlates with the risk of disease, but on balance the tick settles earlier than later. And it is possible that soap and rubbing can stimulate the tick to vomit intestinal contents.
If you stick a tick
• Do not crush or puncture.
• Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with pointed forceps or fingers and thumbs. Pull up and down with even, even pressure.
• Wash the bite area, your hands and tweezers thoroughly with warm soap and water.
• Place the tick in a container containing rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Note the day the tick was probably attached.
• Bring the product to the doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms, a rash, or something unusual.
Many of us around here know that Lyme disease is the greatest danger associated with venison ticks. Lyme borreliosis is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected deer ticks.
Symptoms of Lyme disease, which can occur days to months after a tick bite, include fever, headache, neck stiffness, joint pain, facial paralysis, palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, and a characteristic rash. According to Needham, Lyme disease is on the rise in Ohio, and although it can be treated with antibiotics, it can be a tedious, debilitating disease. So be especially careful and make sure that you now carry out tick checks with your family.
Today I will leave you with this quote from Mark Twain: "My mother had a lot of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."
Emily Buxton Adams is an extension educator at Ohio State University extension.
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