This is the very first tick either myself or one of my animals has acquired in Southern Victoria – even though I hunted with hounds here for over thirty years and have owned as many as a dozen and a half dogs at a time. I used to see tiny ticks infecting the ears of Bluetongue lizards probably causing the deafness which results in their suffering from so many road casualties. It is possible to tediously remove them – an operation the lizards do not appreciate – but I have long since given up on it: in no time they find some more anyway.
Spot acquired this particular tick West of Yinnar yesterday (31/08/2015) when he was trying out his handsome new raincoat (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/). I can report I have discovered yet another reason for preferring methylated spirits as a hiking fuel. After dousing the parasite liberally with it (from a teaspoon), and waiting about a minute, it was easy to pull the dead tick out complete with its head (as you can see) leaving nothing to cause an infection or irritation. I used a fine pair of tweezers gripping it just above its head. Easier than pulling a tooth! I have no idea whether it is a paralysis tick (probably not – but apparently they have been discovered this far South, so Watch Out!) You do have to be careful to check your pets for the blighters as they can cause death!
A better alternative to metho is if you have some ‘mectin’ type insecticide about the house. Something with Permethrin in it preferably. You would use a small syringe or eye dropper to put 2=3 drops of neat insecticide directly on the tick. It will cause it to let go within a few seconds when you can easily remove it with tweezers without breaking off the head (which if left in the dog often causes a nasty infection and scarring). Wipe it off then wash the area down with water after you have removed the tick.
In the US ticks have been implicated in the spread of Lyme Disease (a real nasty, previously mostly an occupational hazard to rat-catchers!), so apart from the fact that they will create a very nasty itchy spot, and maybe an infection, it is important to get them out (particularly of yourself) as quickly and safely as possible. The meths is also a good antiseptic and fuel when hiking.
Since i wrote this post, recently I have had two ticks on our oldest Jack Russell, Tiny (17!) which made her quite sick. The vet confirmed by microscopic examination that they were paralysis ticks – but they were acquired here in Southern Victoria, so be warned. A monthly treatment with eg Nexguard will keep them free of ticks, fleas and worms. This may be becoming essential pet care now.