Put An End To Ticks With A Natural Liquid You Already Own

From spring through fall, ticks are active and can cause concern for people and their pets. These blood-sucking insects are known to carry and spread a wide variety of diseases since they feed on all kinds of animals, as per PBS NewsHour. Luckily, you can count on one inexpensive liquid from your bathroom cabinet to kill ticks: rubbing alcohol. It was found to eliminate these pests in a 2018 article published in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Tularemia, Colorado fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and other harmful illnesses to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. They are also a danger to dogs, and the insect's bite can give your pet canine anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, canine ehrlichiosis, and other illnesses, according to Westport Veterinary Associates. If you find a tick on yourself or your pet, carefully remove it with tweezers if it's attached or with a paper towel if it hasn't bitten yet, and kill it with rubbing alcohol.

Using rubbing alcohol to exterminate ticks

It's impossible to tell if a tick is carrying a harmful pathogen without laboratory testing, so it's best to kill any tick you find. Whether the creepy bug is crawling on your clothes, on your pet's fur, or has bitten and attached to a member of your family, exterminating the tick will help keep you and others safe. Once the tick has been safely removed, simply drop it in a container with a bit of rubbing alcohol.

You could use a cup, jar, plastic container, or plastic bag to trap and drown the animal, but make sure the receptacle is sealed shut so the tick cannot escape. For example, if you use a regular drinking glass, put a plate or another flat object over the top to function as a lid. Leave the tick in the liquid until you're certain it's dead. To be extra cautious, use a container you don't mind getting rid of and throw the entire thing away.

Limitations of rubbing alcohol against ticks

While ticks will drown and die when placed in isopropyl alcohol, the common disinfectant should not be used to force a tick to detach. Wiping alcohol over a tick that is attached to the skin will not make it let go faster, and it could cause more harm than good. Dr. Robert Lofton, a veterinarian and assistant clinical professor at Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine, told PetMD how using rubbing alcohol to attempt to get a tick off a dog could pose risks. "When the tick is attached to your dog, the alcohol will make the tick spit out its toxin," Dr. Lofton said.

If the insect is carrying diseases, this could increase the chance of picking up a disease from the tick. However, once the tick is detached, isopropyl alcohol is a great option for disinfecting your or your pet's skin after a bite. You'll also want to keep in mind that rubbing alcohol won't repel ticks, prevent them from biting, or keep them off your property, but, again, it works for terminating these pests after they're removed.