Ticks are small arthropods, usually less than a millimetre long, part of the suborder Parasitiformes (parasitic insects).
They include the subclass Acari. They also form part of the suborder Heteroptera (wingless insects) but are not considered to belong to the class Insecta, so they are not part of that family either. In some species, they can be winged and some may even fly. Ticks feed mostly on mammals and birds but sometimes they will feed on reptiles and even amphibians.
The tick’s legs are short and flat and it has eight pairs of pedipalps, the head is very small and its body is brown or gray in colour with pale red stripes. Its antennae are long and pointed, and they appear as one or more black dots at the base of its thorax.
A tick can travel for a few feet and if disturbed it will jump up and make a noisy noise. It generally feeds after dark but it can feed at daybreak. Sometimes, a tick can feed on a cat or a dog if the animal comes into contact with it. In this case, it will suck its blood.
When a tick bites, it injects an anaesthetic that paralyzes the nerves and stops the victim from feeling any pain. Once bitten, the victim may experience fever, chills and headache.
The most common tests for ticks include skin prick tests and blood tests. These tests are done in a clinic or at home.
In skin prick tests, the tick’s skin is exposed to a tiny amount of anesthetics and the tick’s saliva is rubbed onto the skin. The anaesthetic makes the tick unconscious. When the tick’s skin is scraped, blood and saliva can be identified on the skin. The results of these tests are then interpreted by a doctor or a laboratory technician. In blood tests, the doctor uses a laboratory dye test to see if the tick is carrying a parasite that is potentially harmful to humans.
The tests performed at home are slightly different than the tests using the tick’s saliva.
In a blood test, a sample of tick saliva is put into a little vial of water and the tick’s blood is mixed in. with the sample. The tick saliva then is applied to the skin and tested for the presence of the parasite Ehrlichia hollandiae. If the tick is harbouring this parasite, the tick will be coloured red and have a tacky appearance.
Ticks can be removed by hand, but there is no guarantee that a tick won’t still be attached to a human. If the tick is not removed, the tick will continue to feed on the body of the person and will cause irritation to the skin. If tick repellents are used and the area is not cleaned regularly, the tick may remain on the skin and can infect more people.
There are many tick removal products available on the market. Some of these are expensive, but others are very cheap.
There are also some tick repellent products available on the internet that are made from ingredients such as horsetail extract and plant extracts. These products contain natural ingredients and do not contain chemicals that could damage human skin. Many of these products are suitable for use on small areas of the body such as the skin. where there is a lot of skin contact.
As mentioned above, it is important to keep tick bites clean. A bandage should be worn around the tick bite to prevent it from spreading the infection and causing itching and discomfort to the affected person. To remove the tick, use warm water and a disinfectant to clean the area and the bandage.
If a tick is still attached to the skin, applying the Tick Remedy to the tick and allowing it to sit for five minutes before rinsing off is recommended. This will help to loosen the skin. It is also important to remember that this treatment needs to be repeated every three or four days until the tick is gone.