4 Common Myths About Ticks
It ain’t pretty…but it’s important!
As the weather gets nicer, the bugs find an open invitation to feast on us. Like most people, I find ticks revolting…and am SO very grateful I’ve never come face-to-face with one (neither have any of my dogs…thank you, Vectra!).
We all know ticks can carry the sickening (and sometimes fatal) Lyme disease, and since we’re all spending a lot more time outside, I stumbled on these myths that you may or may not hold to be true. ‘Prevention’ magazine broke them down.
MYTH 1. You can remove a tick with perfume, alcohol or Vaseline. NOT TRUE! You also shouldn’t try to light a match next to it. Instead, use tweezers, grab as much of the bugger as you can, and pull straight out without twisting. Then wash hands and bite mark with rubbing alcohol.
MYTH 2. You’ll know if you’ve been bitten. NOT TRUE! Tick bites are painless, and even though the telltale sign is a red dot with a bull’s eye pattern around it, not everyone gets that.
Lyme disease symptoms are flu-like, but can take two or three weeks before they appear.
MYTH 3. Every tick carries disease. NOT TRUE! But it’s more common that it used to be, partly due to the deer tick population’s rise. About 70 percent of deer ticks carry disease…but only 5 percent of lone star ticks do.
MYTH 4. If you get bitten by a tick with Lyme disease, you’ll get sick. HALF TRUE/HALF NOT. If you don’t do anything about the bite, you’ll get sick. But if you remove it within 24 hours, you’ll probably be fine. This is because the bacteria lives in the tick’s stomach, and it takes that long to get to their mouth.