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mrkstvns

First Aid Kit Gadget: Tick Remover

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Generations of scouters have included tweezers in their first aid kits. It's a good general purpose gadget, and at this time of year, is often put to use removing ticks from scout or scouter alike.

The only problem with the tweezers is that it's easy to oversqueeze or to pull too quickly, leaving the tick's head embedded under the skin. Small, inexpensive gadgets are available to make tick extraction easier and less prone to leaving head parts behind.

See:
https://www.amazon.com/Tick-Twister-Remover-Small-Large/dp/B00X7072HY/

 

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Posted (edited)

Better than tweezers: thumb and forefinger. Squeeze, pull. You know when you've got the whole critter -- you can almost feel its pincers releasing, and you'll never over squeeze because your digits are optimized for picking all sorts of things.

For the $ save, you can buy some stranger on the internet his coffee when he passes through your town!

Edited by qwazse

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Better than tweezers: thumb and forefinger. Squeeze, pull. You know when you've got the whole critter -- you can almost feel its pincers releasing, and you'll never over squeeze because your digits are optimized for picking all sorts of things.

For the $ save, you can buy some stranger on the internet his coffee when he passes through your town!

You can get deer ticks this way? My fat fingers can't. I'll stick with the kit.

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8 minutes ago, FireStone said:

You can get deer ticks this way? My fat fingers can't. I'll stick with the kit.

Definitely helps to be sure when the tick is tiny. Too tiny for fingers, often.

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Don't matter to me if the tick is tiny or huge, I just really don't want to touch the gross little blood-suckers.

Give me the tweezers or the tick-yanker tool any day of the summer camp!

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2 hours ago, FireStone said:

You can get deer ticks this way? My fat fingers can't. I'll stick with the kit.

I haven't had to pull a lot of them, but yeah I got one pretty early on that way. I've also used a knife to lift the abdomen, pinch it with my thumb, then pull. BTW, you don't have to worry about the head being left behind. From http://mentalfloss.com/article/548756/myths-about-ticks-debunked

Quote

... if you aren't 100 percent sure you got the full tick off on the first try, don't panic. A disembodied head or biting apparatus attached to your skin won't be able to transmit disease, move on its own, or grow back into a full tick. It might irritate the skin around it, but usually it will fall out on its own.

2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

... tiny or huge, I just really don't want to touch the gross little blood-suckers. ...

Me too. That's why I stay away from political rallies. :happy:

Oh, but ticks? I'm not too bothered about touching them as much as I am about them touching me.

1 hour ago, TMSM said:

We use tick keys

The tick keys seem to be cost effective. Has anyone tried a needle threader? Anyone jury rig a tick key from other camping items?

Or, has anyone found a dual purpose for those keys? Let's face it, if it can do double duty, it's more likely to find its way into a pack.

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Tick Key is scout friendly and will give you a bulk rate if you ask. They can also stamp your logo or troop number on it for a smallish set-up fee.

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we got a bunch of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Original-Ticked-Off-Remover-family/dp/B00CAQ7C8K/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=tick+spoon&qid=1560339842&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-3

 

had a lady from the CDC come and do a presentation during a roundtable and had boxes of them to give away

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Tick keys work around here.  Almost as essential as well...the essentials.  Its like a knife, ask a group of scouts to raise their hand if they have one, and all hands go up.   

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For scouters in the BSA, the area where ticks are a problem is everywhere.  There is not a single state in the U.S. that does not have a native population of ticks ready to bite and spread disease.  

The CDC has a web page about ticks that bite people, and which  diseases they most commonly transmit.   The page is here: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/geographic_distribution.html   

  • Most common is the Brown Dog Tick, found in every state and known to transmite Rocky Mountain Spotted fever in the southwest U.S.   
  • The American Dog Tick is common in the east and in California.  
  • The Blacklegged Tick is common in the east and can transmit a smorgasbord of diseases, ranging from Lyme disease to Powassan virus.  
  • The Gulf Coast Tick is common along the Gulf Coast (no surprise there), but is also common along the Atlantic coast as far north as Maryland, and in the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas. 
  • The Lone Star Tick is also common along the Gulf Coast and in the midwest, the rust belt states, and all states along the Atlantic Coast from Floritda to Maine. 
  • The Rocky Mountain Tick is found from the Pacific Northwest southwards to northern Arizona and New Mexico (so you Philmont trekkers might find a few of them). They are known to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever among other illnesses.
  • Although the Western Blacklegged Tick is most common on the Pacific Coast, it is also common in the state of Utah. It carries Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis. 

In addition to those common ticks, there are also "invasive" tick species that you might find in some locales, such as the Asian Longhorned Tick

Stay safe!  Check yourself for ticks each day and carry a tick key, tweezers, or other gadget to remove them when found. 

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On 6/11/2019 at 5:12 PM, qwazse said:

Better than tweezers: thumb and forefinger. Squeeze,

Squeeze? Urgh! I feel a bit queasy even thinking about that!

I thought the reason they recommend thin tweezers and tick tools and definitely not fire or a cigarette or Vaseline or fingers is the danger of forcing the contents of the tick's stomach out through the mouth and into your bloodstream. Which is not the way you want nasties entering your body.

 

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