Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tick Removal

Linda and Clyde Keith have just posted a comment on a method to remove ticks that I want to make sure gets the fullest possible exposure rather than just leave it in the comments section of one post.  Here it is in full:

A School Nurse has written the info below -- good enough to share -- And it really works!!
I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it's sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc. Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and let it stay on the repulsive insect for a few seconds (15-20), after which the tick will come out on it's own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.
Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can't see that this would be damaging in any way. I even had my doctor's wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn't reach it with tweezers. She used this method and immediately called me back to say, 'It worked!'
Linda & Clyde Keith

As I wrote back, not only is this good for human use but I'm delighted to try it on the dogs.  Too many times, I can't get the tweezers just on the tick, and I wind up taking fur as well.  Not only that, but pulling the tick out forcibly seems to tear up the attachment site.  I know that for me, that site will itch for a week.  The poor dogs can't tell us how they feel, but this has to be better.

Thanks for the suggestion, Linda and Clyde!

Also MXSailor sent along information about a product, BioBlast:

Stumbled across your blog because we too, have tick problems. I've purchased some "Bio-Blast" to try spraying around the "yard." Already approved by FDA for treatment of ticks as well as termites... let you know what I find...

BIO-BLAST: A fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, Strain ESCI (Bio-Blast) acts as a biological termiticide. It is odorless, vaporless, nonstaining and infected termites can pass the agent (fungus) to other termites via horizontal transfer. Bio-Blast is labeled for control of existing termite infestations in structures and their immediate surroundings and for residual protection of treated wood. Spray effectiveness is enhanced when applied to many foraging termites. Treated termites return to the colony, spreading the biological active ingredient to others. Treatments can be made both indoors and outdoors.

Adapted from the Ohio State University Extension, 1999

While I am totally in favor of such biological type of controls rather than chemical ones, I really wonder whether Panamá will allow us to import it here.  I am going to pass along the information to one of our neighbors who has a terrible tick problem, thanks to their horse, and they can follow it up.  It would be useful for us along the fence line we have with the cattle ranch neighbor more as a preventative technique, because as I've mentioned, our tick population is now quite low.

However, those of you within the US might be interested.

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