Before You Drown That Tick In Peppermint Oil, Here’s What You Need To Know

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Neeta Connally, a tick, peppermint oil

A video has gone viral on Facebook after someone showed the simple removal of a tick by “drowning” it in peppermint oil. Unfortunately, medical professionals have since spoken out about the clip that has been viewed a staggering 27 million times – and there’s just one extremely important thing that everyone needs to know about it before taking its advice.

The footage has been shared far and wide after a Facebook user by the name of Vjeko Zahej posted the “helpful” clip. In it, a woman is seen after having found a tick embedded in what appears to be her leg. She then tells viewers that she was about to try out a simple home remedy.

The woman douses the parasite with a single drop of peppermint oil and waits to see what happens. A mere 20 seconds later, the irritated tick releases its grip and tries to get as far away from the fragrant oil as possible. However, there’s one huge issue the video below doesn’t share with viewers, and it could lead to quite a costly mistake.

Pepermint ulje, "smrt krpeljima" !!

Posted by Vjeko Zahej on Thursday, April 27, 2017

As reports indicate that America will soon be suffering one of the worst tick seasons we have had in quite some time since the winter wasn’t cold enough to kill off the bugs and this video going viral, well, it’s not too hard to understand why peppermint oil has been flying off the shelves. However, that’s actually really bad news.

Unfortunately, there’s one thing you should know before drowning an embedded tick in peppermint oil, and it’s something that you don’t learn from this video. As the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF) explains, “Ticks are responsible for at least ten different known diseases in humans in the U.S., including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and more recently, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis.” But, there’s more.

According to IJ Review, “Tick expert Dr. Neeta Connally said in a KFGO podcast that many of those diseases can actually be spread from aggravating the tick (i.e. “drowning” it in substances like peppermint oil).” In fact, the medical professional went so far as to say that removing a tick in this fashion is certainly “not recommended.”

“We don’t want to agitate the tick at all because as you know, many species of ticks carry all sorts of diseases,” Dr. Connally explained. “Those are actually salivated into the body when the tick attaches, and so we don’t want to agitate the tick in any way that is going to make it salivate more and thereby be more likely to transmit anything into you that may make you sick.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took things one step further by recommending people avoid any “folk remedies” like “’painting’ the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin.” Furthermore, The Center for Wilderness Safety suggests that the “two most effective methods” for removing a tick should be with the use of the Tick Twister Pro:

Or by using needle-nose tweezers like this:

Before You Down That Tick In Peppermint Oil, Here's What You Need To Know
How to properly remove a tick (Photo Source: CDC)

Once you get that nasty little critter out, it’s as simple as flushing it down the toilet or submerging it in alcohol. In all, it typically takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours of feeding for a tick to transmit any one of the diseases it may be carrying, according to Pest World, so it’s best to remove it before then.

As for this video, it may look like a neat trick, but it could end up costing you a bit more in the long run. In the end, it’s best to just remove them in the ways described by the professionals, and if you’re not comfortable with that, go see a doctor. Nothing is worth your health – especially not a home remedy that you saw on Facebook. And now, there’s a lot of ill-informed individuals who have seen the clip and don’t know the risk, so make sure you get the word out on the right way to get the tick out.