Guest: Dan Wolff
Prepared by Ted Lund
Dan Wolff is the president and founder of TickEase, Inc. The company’s mission is to provide safe and effective tools for removing and repelling ticks, facilitating tick testing, and educating the public about the prevention of tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease.
We had the chance to catch up with Dan and discuss how he came up with the idea for TickEase and why it’s important.
BeFirst Media Group: How did you get started with the whole TickEase concept?
Dan Wolff: I founded Mass Deer Service that worked closely with residents of the MetroWest area of Boston. You wouldn’t think it, but these urban areas have a quite a problem with deer — and with deer come ticks and all of the problems associated with tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease. So, that’s what we wanted to do; control the deer population and in turn help limit exposure to tick-borne illnesses. There weren’t really any tools on the market specifically for removing ticks from people or pets. This is why we developed TickEase.
BFMG: What makes TickEase so unique?
DW: There are a lot of old wives’ tales out there about removing ticks;
using a hot match, Vaseline, fingernail polish, dish soap and cotton, or various little key-like devices. But they don’t work as consistently as pointy-tipped tweezers. They’re not safe and they’re not effective. TickEase has two ends and is specifically engineered to be the safest, most convenient method of removing ticks. And it’s the only dual-purpose removal tool that works both on humans and pets.
The slender tweezer-tip on one end is designed to remove even the tiniest nymphal ticks from humans. The other end is a slotted scoop, which is the best way to remove larger or engorged ticks from your dogs and cats and other animals. You simply place the scoop under the tick’s mouth parts and gently pry or lift upwards. In either case, you’ll want to clean the area with soap and water and a disinfectant. Whenever you remove a tick, you’ll also want to save it for identification. And if you or your pets start experiencing any symptoms of tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, you should consult a physician or veterinarian immediately.
BFMG: Why is tick prevention so important?
DW: Tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease are the fastest-growing infectious disease concerns in the U.S. and prompt and proper tick removal is a critical step in preventing infection. As tick populations continue to grow and their range expands, scientists are finding they are transmitting a growing list of disease-causing microbes like Lyme disease, Babesia protoza, Anaplesma, Ehrlichia (and other rickettsia), and encephalitis – causing viruses and Bartonella bacteria.
The fact is that while ticks in decades past were previously merely an inconvenience, they have become a common carrier of debilitating diseases and must be treated as such. Proper prevention and removal helps fight that.