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Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 5:25 am


I was camping this weekend, and it got me thinking about ticks (there were many around me and on me). What would happen if a tick actually got inside your ear? It actually kind of scares me. Would I know? Any insight would be great. Thanks
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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 7:26 am

I guess it all depends on the situation. I've heard of other types of bugs (cockroaches and what not) getting stuck inside some unfortunate souls' ear canal. I guess doctors use some type of suction device to get the little buggers out of there.
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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 7:47 am

Generally it's safer to use some kind of oil, which will drown the bug first, before it is gently washed out. This won't work as well with ticks, because they clamp themselves onto the skin.

Removing ticks - there are lots of old wives tales about using matches, solvents, &c... don't rely on them. They could easily cause the tick to vomit nasty things into your bloodstream, and there's no guarantee of actually releasing it. The same applies for squeezing the tick's body.

Your best option is to pull the tick out with (fine) tweezers, gripping at the point where it bites into the skin. It doesn't actually hurt much; I think the tick uses some method of numbing the skin, like a leech does.  Smile

Of course, if it's deep in your ear, this isn't an easy option, and you probably wouldn't want to damage the tissue inside your ear anyway. Go to see a doctor. The tick is unlikely to eat your brain in the time that it takes to get proper medical attention.

Would you know? Yes. If nothing else, you'll feel something in your ear, and your hearing might be dulled, depending on how big the tick is, and how small the crevice it gets into. You'd probably feel the bite. It's unlikely that anything really painful will happen, though; and it's unlikely that a tick will get near your ear anyway.

Most normal insect repellents will deter ticks. If you have a little DEET on exposed skin, and permethrin on clothes, you should have excellent protection against all manner of bugs.
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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 1:47 pm

Whereever a tick bites, ALWAYS seek a doctor.
Ticks (and other parasites) can carry all matter of nasty diseases, some of which can cause permanent disabilities or even death.
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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 2:22 pm

I remember waking up one night, using the restroom, and seeing on the giant mirror that I had a tick on my forearm.

All former teaching to me about how to safely remove a tick went right out the window.

All that happened was me frantically panicing, and clawing at my arm in an attempt to get it off. It worked. But there is probably a tick head in my blood stream now  Smile
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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 2:23 pm

The ear canal is very acidic, and the skin there is so tough and carries so little blood, you would have to try to make the tick bite.
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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 2:36 pm

I had a tick once on my leg and I freaked as well and just yanked the thing off. I have never really heard a reason for squeezing it off or slowly pulling it off. Can somebody please explain this to me? Thanks

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RE: Ticks And Humans

Mon May 19, 2003 7:01 pm

Any given tick might carry a disease.

If the tick bites you, there's no guarantee that anything nasty will get into your bloodstream; but this is much more likely if you squeeze/damage the body, because it might vomit, or "cough up" much of its innards.

Tick-borne disease is more of a problem in north america than in europe.
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