Tick removal

Those Tenacious Ticks – dab them don’t grab them!

Everyone agrees ticks should be removed but what is the best way?

The paralysis tick is found along the east coast of Australia in moist areas, long grasses and bushland. It relies on a passing animal for a blood meal in order to develop from a larvae to a nymph and then an adult. It’s the female that bites humans – it attaches and then crawls up generally lodging in the head or neck and causing local irritation and swelling.

Ticks can cause problems in humans – severe allergic reactions including allergic reactions to meat and gelatine, paralysis and infection.


When in bushy areas, reduce the chance of ticks attaching by using a standard repellent containing DEET (tropical Aerogard, RID or Bushmans) particularly around accessible areas of skin. Wear a broad brimmed hat, long sleeves and pants and check for ticks daily especially on children.


To minimise allergic reactions DO NOT IRRITATE the TICK i.e. by scratching at it, grabbing it with tweezers, applying kerosene or methylated spirits. Any irritation may cause it to inject more allergy- containing saliva.

Instead KILL IT QUICKLY either

Freeze it with a product such as ‘Wart Off Freeze’, ‘Aerostart’ or ‘Elastoplast Cold Spray’ – all available at chemists. Liquid nitrogen may be used by your doctor.


Use ‘Lyclear’ lotion, also used for scabies. Apply twice to the tick, one minute between applications. Leave the tick to shrivel and drop off but if embedded this may take a day.

When is the tick dead? – When its legs stop moving!

For further information http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/insect-allergy-bites-and-stings/tick-allergy

Dr Robyn Dalley