Tick removal and Insect repellents
Posted on: 03/18/2013
Remove a tick from your skin as soon as you notice it. Use fine-tipped tweezers to firmly grasp the tick very close to your skin. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from your skin. Then clean your skin with soap and warm water. Throw the dead tick away with your household trash. Avoid crushing the tick’s body. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouthparts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no longer transmit the Lyme disease bacteria. If you accidentally crush the tick, clean your skin with soap and warm water or alcohol.
Don’t use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick.
A deer tick has to be attached to you for at least 24 hours to be able to transmit Lyme Disease.
The first symptom of Lyme is a rash, with the fancy name of Erythema Migrans. It’s fairly distinctive and sometimes develops into a bulls-eye rash. It is normal to have some redness immediately and the day after pulling a tick off. This is not Lyme and is harmless. The Lyme rash begins 3 days or so later and can be associated with low grade fever, aches and headache. Seek medical attention if you develop such a red rash around your bite!
The best thing for you to do is to prevent the problem in the first place by wearing a repellent. DEET containing materials are the only reliable products for tick repellancy right now. These are safe to us in kids up to a 30% concentration.
Insect repellents come in many forms including aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams, and sticks. They prevent bites from biting insects but not stinging insects.
- Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers and biting flies.
- Stinging insects include bees, hornets, and wasps.
- Chemical repellents with DEET – considered the best defense against biting insects. They protect 3 to 8 hours depending on how much DEET is in the product.
- Repellents made from essential oils such as Citronella, Cedar, Eucalyptus and Soybean - are generally much less effective and give short-term protection, usually 2 hours or less.
- Chemical repellents with Permethrin - kill ticks on contact. These should only be applied to clothing and it lasts even after several washings.
- The amount of DEET varies from product to product, so it’s important to read the label. It ranges from less than 10% to more than 30%.
- Products with higher amounts of DEET protect people longer.Products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours. Products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. Studies show that products with amounts of greater than 30% don’t offer any extra protection.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children.
- Apply insect repellents on the outside of child’s clothing and on exposed skin.
- Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.
- Avoid reapplying unless necessary.
- Wash your children’s skin with soap and water to remove any repellent when they return indoors, and wash their clothing before they wear it again.
- Never apply insect repellent to children younger than 2 months. Do not spray directly onto child’s face. Spray on hands then rub it on child’s face.
- Do not apply to cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
- Don’t buy products that combine DEET with sunscreen. DEET may make the sun protection factor (SPF) less effective. These products can overexpose children to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.