There are many wive’s tales and myths concerning the removal of these eight-legged pests. The bottom line is if you do find a tick that has become attached, just grab it behind the head with a pair of tweezers and apply steady backward pressure until you pull it out. Sure, it always better to remove the entire tick, but don’t be overly concerned if some of the head remains. The harmful bacteria comes from the tick’s abdomen, not the head.
There is another method of removal that is gaining wide-spread acceptance, especially in those places where they’re difficult to remove with tweezers, like between the toes or in the middle of a thick, head full of hair. Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for 15-20 seconds. In most cases, the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.
Being aware goes a long way in enjoying our natural resources while at the same time ensuring your adventures remain safe. Ticks find their host by “questing.” They perch on low-growing grasses, weeds and shrubs with their two front legs outstretched lying in wait for their host.
When in the woods or tall grass, wear long pants and a shirt. Light-colored clothing, while not only being cooler, makes it easier to spot ticks that may get on your clothes. Wear a hat, too, as ticks can sometimes drop from trees and leaves. Shoes and socks also are important protection.
Most important is to wear a good quality insect repellent. 3M makes a great new product called Ultrathon (I personally like the lotion formula) that dispels many of the common chemical concerns to insect repellents of the past. Sawyer is another repellent (again, I prefer the lotion) that contains a controlled release DEET formula.