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Tick Identification Lab - Tick Removal

If you find a tick on your body, your children, or your pets it is important to remove it immediately. To  properly remove an attached tick using tweezers or a tick removal spoon follow the steps below (or you may wish to view the video at the very bottom of the page).  Do not use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other folk remedies to remove ticks. Those methods are not effective and may increase the risk of disease transmission. If you experience a rash, headaches, fever, and flu-like symptoms after a recent tick bite, see a physician right away. To have a tick specimen identified, see How to Submit a Tick for ID.

 

Tick Removal | Using Tweezers

tick on arm There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will work.
grasping embedded tick behind the head with tweezers Use the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure.
Pulling a tick out with tweezers Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. The tick can now be disposed of or saved for identification.
cleaning the tick bite After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area, your hands, and the tweezers with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

 

Tick Removal | Using a Tick Removal Spoon

Tick Spoon Removal 1 A tick removal spoon is an effective tool for removing ticks from both humans and pets. Place the spoon’s notch on the skin near the tick. It can be used from any direction (the front, back, or side of the tick).
Tick Spoon Removal 2 Apply slight downward pressure on the skin and slide the spoon forward so the notch is framing the tick. Continue sliding the spoon forward to detach the tick (do not pry, lever, or lift up).
Tick Spoon Removal 3 Once the tick has detached, examine the bite site to make sure the mouthparts were completely removed. The tick can now be disposed of or saved for identification.
cleaning the tick bite After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area, your hands, and the tick removal spoon with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

 

Tick Removal | Video

Tick removal information adapted from Maine CDC.

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