Hey Minnesota, Flushing Wood Ticks Doesn’t Actually Kill Them
Growing up, my sister and I spent a lot of time outside and we were no strangers to the occasional wood tick. Once they were picked off, the preferred way of disposing of the creepy crawlers was to flush them down the toilet. I was today years old when I learned flushing them doesn't actually kill them.
I did a Google search wondering if flushing killed wood ticks, and Mosquito Squad posted this on their website:
Flushing a tick won’t kill it, as they don’t drown. However, flushing it will certainly result in you being rid of it as ticks don’t have the capability of climbing back up a porcelain bowl. Just make sure you watch the creep go down in the first place.
This is blowing my mind. Wood ticks don't drown. A quick Google search on that topic revealed that wood and deer ticks can live 2-3 days submerged in water. I'm learning so much today.
So if flushing doesn't kill them, what does? Mosquito Squad also shared that information in the same article:
The best method is to submerge the tick in alcohol within a sealed bag or container. This is our favorite method because it allows you to save the tick in a preserved manner for future tick testing. We recommend you date the baggy or container and save it for a month or two. If the person or pet bitten by the tick begins to experience illness, the tick can easily and quickly be tested for tick disease for fast diagnosis and treatment.
You might be thinking, "what about just squishing it?", and honestly I had the same thought. Apparently, you're NEVER supposed to smash a tick. If they are infected and you squish them, you could become inadvertently exposed to pathogens infecting the tick. So your best bet is to go the alcohol submersion route, especially if you have been bit by it.
My mind is completely blown by the fact that flushing a tick doesn't kill it. My world is different now. Did you know this? Share your preferred tick disposal with us on our mobile app.
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