By The Bakersfield Californian
My great-great-grandparents were missionary pioneers who came "Out West" in 1852 in covered wagons to bring God to Gold Rush miners. I spent summers visiting my grandparents in Weimar, Placer County, and I learned many things, including how to deal with ticks.
My grandmother had to check the dog for ticks every time he went outside. Thankfully I learned from her, because when I sold real estate here in Bakersfield, I once had three ticks walking up my ankles after walking through overgrown weeds at foreclosed property I was listing for sale.
Simply knocking a tick off your leg (or your pet's leg) and stepping on it will not do the job. They are flat and flexible! You have to squeeze them inside a Kleenex with your fingernail until you hear a "pop." (Sorry, but these guys carry dangerous diseases.) I prefer to flush them -- but watch to be sure they go down.
If one has attached itself, do not follow the instructions in the Community Voices article by Chris Parlier ("Ticks a growing problem even out West," May 1), which is to remove it at its base (next to the skin) using tweezers -- you run the risk of removing all but the tick's mouth.
Instead, use a Q-tip to put oil on the tick -- it can't breathe and lets go. If that doesn't motivate the tick, try this: Light a match, blow it out, and touch the tick with the hot end. That'll get it moving.