The black legged tick, not pictured here, can carry Lyme disease as well as the Powassan virus, so one must be vigilant if they live near affected areas. If you've been burrowed into by any of the varieties, don't panic, but don't waste any time either.
How to remove a tick
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
P.S. there is a certain satisfaction derived from squishing the little bugger with some needlenose pliers . . . just sayin'
If you are in an area known to contain black legged ticks, it's prolly a good idea to bag the beast and keep it around for a couple of weeks, During that time, should you develop a bulls eye look alike on your skin around the penetration point, run that tick over to your local health unit for testing to be sure.
Powassan (POW) virus is transmitted to humans by infected ticks. Signs and symptoms of infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.