5 Myths About Ticks—Busted!
Smothering a tick is the best way to remove it, right? Wrong! Find out why, along with other misconceptions in our breakdown of five myths about ticks.
Myth: Smothering a tick is the best way to remove it
Fact: The only really suitable removal procedure involves tweezers. Attempting to burn or suffocate a tick can actually stress it and cause a greater release of saliva. Follow this tick removal guide for step-by-step instructions.
Myth: It’s dangerous to leave the head behind when you remove a tick
Fact: If a piece is left in your skin, it’s likely the mouth—ticks don’t have separate heads. Wash your skin with soap and water, and if the mouth doesn’t come out easily, don’t worry—it will work its way out on its own.
Myth: All ticks carry Lyme disease
Fact: In Canada, blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks, according to Health Canada) are thought to be the only ones that have the bacteria that cause Lyme, and not all of them are carriers.
Myth: As soon as a carrier bites you, you’ve got Lyme disease
Fact: It takes at least 24 to 36 hours to transmit the bacteria, so if the tick has been attached for only a few minutes or hours, you won’t develop an infection.
Here are more facts about Lyme disease you'll wish you knew sooner.
Myth: You need a bull’s eye rash for a diagnosis of Lyme disease
Fact: Up to 80 per cent of patients will get a rash at the site of the bite, but it only sometimes looks like a bull’s eye.
Sadly, Lyme disease isn't the only thing you have to worry about. Get to know more tick borne diseases and the warning signs to watch for.