On Memorial Day weekend, a visitor to my store asked me if carried Tick Keys.
“What’s a tick key?” was my bewildered reply.
“Look it up online, and I bet you’ll have Tick Keys in here the next time I stop in,” he said confidently. So I did a little searching and discovered this “key” is a must-have little device for anyone who ventures outdoors—people as well as their furry friends. (FYI, dog owners: This simple yet ingenious product is endorsed by the American Canine Association.)
As the population of black-legged ticks (commonly known as deer ticks) has exploded in the past decade, so has the number of reported cases of Lyme disease. This species of tick attaches itself to a host (that’s you or your pet) but often goes undetected. The nymph is minutely small—only slightly larger than the head of a pin—and the host feels no noticeable sting or bite sensation from it.
That’s why “tick checks” for people and their pets are becoming routine—and recommended—after being outdoors, especially in northeastern and mid-western areas of the United States. The sooner a tick is removed, the less chance the host will become infected.
Over the years, people have used a variety of methods for removing ticks. Some of solutions can actually make matters worse:
• Pulling on a tick with your fingers or tweezers can tear the tick’s mouth parts from its body, leaving remains embedded in the host and spreading infected tick blood or saliva on the host’s skin.
• Squeezing, squashing, or crushing a tick can force its infected body fluids through its mouth and into the host’s bloodstream.
• Applying substances to the tick such as petroleum jelly, nail polish remover, insect repellents, or the like will likely cause it to vomit the contents of its stomach into the host’s bloodstream.
• Attempting to suffocate or smother a tick is dangerous and ineffective. The tick can survive without air for long periods of time, during which it can transmit disease to the host.
It’s important that ticks be removed quickly, safely, and completely to avoid the consequences of infection by these tiny insects.
The Tick Key is proven to be 99.9% effective at removing all sizes and types of ticks from people and pets. It is the only device of its kind that uses natural forward leverage to remove the entire tick—head and all—without squishing or your having to touch even the most engorged ticks.
I received my first shipment of Tick Keys in early June, and within a few days they became the best-selling item in my store. One customer who contracted Lyme disease years ago cautioned, “Anyone who spends time outdoors should always have a Tick Key close at hand.”
Good advice. I’ve used mine several times already this summer!
Founder and Proprietor, New England Everyday Goods & Farm Market, Jaffrey, NH.
Just a stone’s throw down the road from The Old Farmer’s Almanac headquarters, Jim and his wife Susan operate a sprawling retail store that specializes in useful and unusual products with interesting stories behind them.