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I'm back from outdoors and while lying down in bed I noticed a tiny tiny insect walking around on my clothes. While trying to take a picture of it to see if it is a tick, it just disappeared and I cannot find it anymore. In the mean time I checked my body to make sure nothing is there and I found two of them on my leg and toe. The one in the leg came off easily with tweezers as close to the skin as possible, where the one in the toe felt like didn't detach in whole and there was a spot of blood after removal. I'll get someone check the spots again for me, but:

  1. how can I make sure I haven't brought more of them with me home?
  2. And that the one I lost hasn't landed on my head among bushes and bushes and bushes of hair? (It would be impossible to find anything from my head with all the hair that I have).
  3. I threw the ones I removed in the bin. Can they get out and creep around again?

that's my skin texture not leg hair!

the one I lost!

another shot

  • 7
    Next time you do find one, seal it between two pieces of adhesive tape before disposal (or between one piece of tape and paper.) I learned this tip from a visit to a forest ranger station. They rangers inspect themselves at the end of each shift, tape any they find to a piece of cardstock, and keep a collection. At the end of each year, they award prizes for largest, most, etc. – cobaltduck May 2 '17 at 19:26
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    Ticks are not easy to kill. They don't squish. I get rid of them by either cutting them in half, or flushing them down the toilet. – ShemSeger May 2 '17 at 19:53
  • Burning them (with a lighter for instance) is also very effective. – stijn May 3 '17 at 13:55
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    But only burn them after removal. – fyrepenguin May 3 '17 at 16:15
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    "How can I make sure there are no more ticks around?" You can't. There are always more ticks around. – Olin Lathrop May 5 '17 at 12:55
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You can't.

All you can do is throughly inspect yourself or have someone check you over to see if they can find any. But there's nothing you can do to ensure there aren't anymore around, you can only hope that you've found them all on your person.

When I first got married, my wife and I went for a hike along the river close to my home. We hung out on the banks in the grass for a bit, but soon discovered the patch of grass we picked was FULL of ticks. I picked 17 off of my wife, we thought we got them all, but when we got home I found a couple more crawling in her hair while we were on the couch watching a movie. A couple days later, we found another tick on my wife, and we hadn't even even been in the bush since the first tick incident. We couldn't figure out where the stray tick came from until we got in our truck again and found another one on the seat inside.

We apparently didn't do a good enough job checking each other over the first time, and carried some ticks into the truck where a couple disembarked and hung out in the cab until we got back in again.

Thorough checks are the only way you can verify you're tick free. it's not enough to just check on the outside of your clothes, ticks will climb inside you clothes as well, and you need to do these checks before you go anywhere the ticks can jump off and hide; like in your tent, your sleeping bag, your vehicle, your home, etc.

  • 1
    Ticks like to crawl into warm places so check all of your hairy bits. – Rowan Hawkins May 2 '17 at 23:20
  • In this regard it is wise to make a habit of checking your body at least once a day, in the morning and/or at night when you're undressed. I think this is a good habit for a number of reasons, one important reason being that you're more likely to find and remove ticks. – cr0 May 8 '17 at 15:58
  • Couldn't decide between chosing this or @JaniHyytiäinen 's answer. Picking this one as I didn't get an update from Jani about my question. – Neeku Apr 9 at 10:05
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Sauna. And not that joke-of-a-sauna but a real Scandinavian sauna with 80°C / 176°F. One thing with ticks is that they can take an enormous amount of beating and other forms of killing attempts but they're extremely vulnerable to heat. Same thing with deer flies.

You can also try with a hot shower but you really have to gradually crank up the heat as much as your skin can take. As its body temperature reaches 42°C/107°F its proteins start to coagulate and it dies.

Note: Some people seem to find this hard to believe. However, as this study concludes, washing in 46°C/115°F kills all the nymph and adult ticks. In addition to that, the study concluded that it only takes about 5 minutes for a tick to die off at dry heat which suggests you should take a sauna if possible.

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    Amazing if true.... Can you add some supporting references? – James Jenkins May 3 '17 at 20:53
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    Down vote, I looked for and did not find references supporting this claim. – James Jenkins May 4 '17 at 12:20
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    From @Karen s link "however, 50% of ticks survived hot water washes when the water temperature was <54°C." (130°F) while "Hot Water Causes Third Degree Burns in 15 seconds at 133º." Seems like the person is likely to die before the ticks. – James Jenkins May 4 '17 at 17:10
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    @JaniHyytiäinen I looked at your new reference. Ticks are killed in the dryer where low heat temps range between 112 - 168 degrees. A tick on a persons skin is unlikely to get warmer then the persons skin, if the skin gets hot enough to kill the tick it is hot enough to burn the person. Yes you can kill ticks in a clothes dryer, but you have not shown the you can kill ticks on a person in a sauna, without burning the person. If your claim of 115 wash was true those in the hot wash trial would not be alive to die in the dryer "Hot Wash < 115°F, High Heat Dry" – James Jenkins May 5 '17 at 12:23
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    I am not trying to argue, just pointing out there is no support for your claims. There are lots of claims on the internet like Can dish soap really be used to kill ticks and fleas? Some have a grain of truth and if I can find supporting references I am happy to add them – James Jenkins May 5 '17 at 12:38
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In addition to ShemSegers and Jani-Hyytiäinens answer, I'd like to add that because of their ability of survival just throwing them into the bin might indeed enable them to creep out again (depends on the bin).

To make sure, you could kill them with fire. Hold them with tweezers and kill them with a lighter.

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