I work for a pest control company because I hate bugs, spiders, critters and creepy crawlies. I’m totally okay with their demise. I say, Kill them dead! And then kill them again- just to be certain! When I’m faced with with them, I tend to get a little crazed. This brings us to a tick experience I had with my daughter.

At 5:30am my daughter, Jaide, asked me to look at something that was bothering her head during the night. After moving all of her hair out of the way I found that she had a TICK! {Shudder} Seriously? That little blood-sucker! How dare he invade my child! I was TICKED! I wanted it out of her, but I was nervous about whether I could do it. My husband told me his mom would light a match next to the tick and when it got hot enough it’d back out. That might work on an arm or leg but I didn’t think that putting flame that close to her long hair was in line with being a responsible parent. And honestly, I like her with hair. I’d heard of people taking them out with a pair of tweezers but I also knew that you have to be careful because their heads can detach and then you have another problem on your hands. And I’ll be honest. I didn’t know if I could be tugging on a tick without doing the heebie-jeebie dance. So, I did what any TICKed off parent would do; I asked the all knowing Google. The owner at Barrier Pest did a blog entitled “What Is The Best Way To Remove A Tick?” but I was too chicken to follow it. I figured it would spur the dance previously mentioned but I also hesitated because Google also told me about Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, and even bio-terrorism as well as a whole bunch of things NOT to do when attempting to remove it. By 5:45am I was freaked. I told my daughter we’d go to the doctor when the office opened at 8:00am and let him do it. I didn’t add “so I don’t inadvertently kill you.” I don’t know how but she went back to sleep. Not me, I kept checking the clock, brushing off imaginary ticks, checking the clock, checking my head, checking the clock, checking my skin, checking the clock, checking my bed, checking the clock…you get the picture. I could imagine it sucking her blood and again, it TICKed me off.

Finally, 8:00am crept along and it was time to see the doctor. It was one of the better experiences I’ve had at a doctor’s office. Our pediatrician was in and could see us then! When does that happen!? We only waited about 3 minutes. I kind of felt bad for the other 10-15 people in the waiting room, but not enough to give them our spot. After all, a living creature stuck in your head, sucking your blood seems more urgent than a sneeze, right? As much as it creeped me out, I thought it would be wise to watch the doc take this thing out of her head so I can do it in the future. I was in charge of holding the cup that he’d put the tick in after it was removed. I tried to ignore the crawly feeling on my back so I’d be a great example for my daughter. Unnecessary. She was unfazed. Interestingly enough, the doctor followed exactly, the same instructions on the Barrier Pest blog. He grabbed the body, near the head with a pair of tweezers and gently pulled. The tick’s legs started flailing, I tried to suppress the shivers and did pretty good, but one got away and the doc agreed, it’s a little unnerving. It didn’t matter how long he held on to that tick, it was stubborn. It wouldn’t budge. The doctor pulled harder but the tick kept a grip on Jaide’s skin. Finally, the doctor won! I held the cup out. The doctor quickly dropped in the tick (still holding a piece of Jaide’s skin) and I speedily popped the lid on and shoved it into the doctor’s hand, which startled him and he accidentally threw it at Jaide. She jumped off the table. We all laughed. Evidently, the doctor was a little heebie-jeebie’ish himself. (You are welcome Jaide, for the expeditious lid job.)

Since tick season is starting I thought I’d share Barrier Pest’s article, “WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE A TICK?” Unless you just want to pay a doctor. I may be a bit more confident next time. Maybe.

Written by Austin, Technician at Barrier Pest Control.

CC image courtesy of John Tann at Flickr