Removal of ticks
General consensus: firmly attached ticks should be removed immediately, as this considerably reduces the risk of infection.
There are controversial discussions as to how ticks should be removed. These are the current recommendations:
- Take hold of ticks directly on the skin with a scalpel and carefully lever them out
- Take hold of ticks as close to the skin as possible with forcepts or Tick Tweezers and pull them out
- Take hold of ticks as close to the skin as possible with Tick Tweezers and twist them out (approx. 2 twists); the direction of rotation is insignificant
- Shave excision: ticks are removed, e.g. with a razor blade (parallel to the skin), though this may result in tearing off the mouthparts (we do not recommend this method!)
- All-purpose glue, oil, nail varnish, etc. are trickled on to ticks. This method must not be used, as there could be an increased risk of infection.
We recommend: Simply twist ticks out with Dr. Schick’s Tick Tweezers (see below)
Normal Tick Tweezers open the grippers on pressure from above (comparable to a ball-point pen). By contrast , the Ultra Tick Tweezers are bi-functional and guaranteed easy and simple to use.
The removal method of the Ultra Tick Tweezers with the dual function has been patented by Dr. Schick:
The grippers are opened by lateral pressure, the tick is grasped close to the skin and twisted out. In animals already firmly attached ticks are more often found (up to approximately the size of a pea). These ticks can easily be grasped by the Ultra Tick Tweezers in the gripper pocket provided for the purpose and pulled out. The tick remains in the gripper pocket.
Twisting out: A tick has no thread, of course, as accurately maintained. The rotational movement effects a slight pull on the tick and its mouthparts, which can thus be loosened from the skin.
When they start to suck, ticks release a secretion which quickly hardens (known as "cementing substance"), which collects between the mouthparts and the tissue of the host and this is how the ticks anchor themselves in the skin. The mouthparts are, as it were, "cemented in" and provided with small barbs. So you can see why more exertion of force is needed to pull ticks out than to twist them out.
Ticks can transmit the pathogens of Lyme borreliosis (borreliae) all over the world. These pests are even found in gardens and parks. Caution is recommended in tall grass, near bushes and at the edges of woods.
TBE infections are observed in particular in regions in south Germany. You can see the current TBE dissemination areas in Germany and Europe here:
Protection by inoculation is possible, though advisable only if you are spending time in TBE areas and are planning activities outdoors (gardening, camping, walking, etc.).