Fast Tick Removal? Here's how in 6 steps

Here is a step-by-step method that is suggested for safe and effective removal of all types of ticks.

1. Wear hand protection such as gloves so you don't spread pathogens from the tick to your hands; use forceps or tweezers to grab the tick at skin level.

2. Grasp the tick firmly with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible without crushing the tick. Apply gentle pulling motion upward until the tick comes free. Twisting or turning the tick does not make removal easier because the mouthparts are barbed; in fact, such actions may break off the head and mouthparts, thereby increasing the chances for infection. The second web citation illustrates the proper removal of a tick.

3. Once the tick is removed, don't crush the tick because it may release pathogens. Consider keeping it in a tightly closed jar or taped to a piece of paper. Show the tick to the doctor if the person bitten becomes ill after the tick bite. Flush any removed ticks not kept for identification down the toilet or sink.

4. The area of the bite should leave a small crater or indentation where the head and mouthparts were embedded. If portions of the head or mouthparts remain, they may be removed by a doctor.

5. Thoroughly cleanse the bite area with soap and water or a mild disinfectant. Observe the area for several days for development of a reaction to the bite (rash or signs of infection). Apply antibiotic cream to the area as a precaution. Application of an antibiotic to the area may help prevent a local infection but usually does not affect the chance of developing diseases transmitted by the tick.

6. Wash hands thoroughly after handling any tick or instruments that touched a tick. Clean and disinfect any instruments that were used.

Other ways to remove ticks, such as using a hot match head or painting the tick with nail polish, gasoline, or other materials, are not advised. Such treatments can cause the tick to release more fluids back into the bite and increases the chance to transmit disease before the tick releases itself from the skin.

If the ticks are on your clothes, use a lint roller or packing tape to safely remove and dispose of them. 

Thanks for the helpful information Mr. Davis, stay safe out there! Happy trails.


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  • AppyHorsey on

    I want to know how a person alone (at home or in the woods, etc.) can remove a tick from their back or other “un reachable” area?

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.


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