Lately, a viral video has been making the rounds suggesting that placing peppermint oil on a tick will cause it to leave your skin in 20 seconds.
Here’s the clip in question.
You know that saying – what’s popular is not always right? Well, despite that video having amassed millions of views on Facebook, it’s not something you want to replicate.
While the tick will get agitated and try to escape the peppermint oil, the method could lead to Lyme disease.
The Daily Mail, citing Western Connecticut State University’s Dr. Neeta Connally, reports that “drowning ticks in substances like peppermint oil can aggravate them, causing the spread of disease.”
“We don’t want to agitate the tick at all because many carry all sorts of diseases,” said Connally, an assistant professor of biology. “Those are actually salivated into the body when the tick attaches.
“We don’t want to agitate the tick in any way that is going to make it salivate more and thereby more likely to transmit anything into you that may make you sick.”
The Daily Mail goes on to cite Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness UK, whose website states, “using solutions such as alcohol, aftershave, oils/butter, paraffin, petroleum jelly or nail polish to try to suffocate a tick may cause it to regurgitate saliva and gut contents as it tries to disengage its mouth parts and escape the irritating solution.”
The organization also warns against using tweezers or any form of squishing action to remove the tick.
So how should you remove a tick?
Health experts recommend using a tool like this one, which removes the tick via spinning action that’s far less likely to agitate it.
You can get the tick twister – which works for pets and humans like – here.