Dr. Linda Pezzolesi, Professor of Biology at Hudson Valley Community College, is a member of the Lyme Action Network’s Advisory Board. Linda is an expert on ticks, which is handy in our line of work. Linda has informed us about this interesting tick fact:
When ticks are frightened or stressed, they throw-up! (That’s probably not the correct scientific terminology — perhaps “regurgitate” is more appropriate — but the result, either way, is something to think about.) If you have a tick latched on to your skin, and you try to burn it with a match, or clamp tweezers over the whole tick and squeeze, or pull and grab and dig and yank, that tick is going to get stressed out and is going to heave the contents of its gut into your skin. (You know what’s coming, right?) SO, if that tick has pathogens such as Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, or any of the others, in its gut, and it throws-up into your skin, you will have a new colony of miserable bugs to content with.
Morale of the story: Be very careful when you remove the tick. FINE-TIPPED tweezers grabbing the tick close to the head will work, but we like the O’Tom Tick Twisters. They are really quick, and incredibly easy. The tick doesn’t get stressed and in 2 seconds, it’s out. Carry them in your car, purse, wallet, etc. Really. LAN will be selling them at the LARAC Festival, or you can order from our e-commerce partner, JIMAPCO, here: http://www.jimapco.com/shop/otom-tick-twister/