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How to remove a tick

Step 1 : Pointy Tweezers

First, let's state the obvious, ticks are tiny. Household tweezers just aren't the right tool for proper tick removal. As you can see in the image, there's a striking difference when compared to tick tweezers.

Unfed adult ticks are about the size of an apple seed; nymph stage ticks are significantly smaller, about the size of a poppy seed. Ticks change in size and appearance as they engorge.

The use of household tweezers increases the chances of tearing the tick during removal, especially Nymphs which are active from early April to early August.

Step 2 : Disinfect the area

Disinfect the tick-bite area with rubbing alcohol.

Step 3 : Where to Grab the Tick?

When you're finished, place your tweezers as close to the skin as possible. With a pointy tweezer you should be able to grab the tick's head or directly above the head.

Step 4 : Firmly Pull Straight Out

Once you've grabbed the tick firmly between your pointy tweezer, the best method is to apply a slow, steady, upwards pull in order to avoid breaking the tick.

You should not be concerned if the tick head breaks off and remains in the skin. Tick-borne disease transmission is not possible without the tick's body.

Step 5 : Disinfect the area again

Once the tick is removed, disinfect the tick-bite area again with rubbing alcohol.

Step 6 : Consider Testing

Once you have the tick removed, you should consider sending the tick to a lab for testing of tick-borne disease. Not all ticks transmit disease, so check out the TERC Tick Identification chart to find out which ones do.

Watch our tick removal video. Then, remind your friends and family not to burn ticks off : How NOT to remove a tick article

Tick Testing Labs Capabilities

UMASS Laboratory of
Medical Zoology
Imugen, Inc.
(781) 255-0770
Learn More
CT Pathology Laboratories
(860) 450-1823
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Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
(860) 486-3738
Learn More
TickChek LLC
562 Independence Road,
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Toll free: 1-866-713-TICK
Learn More

How NOT to remove a tick article

How NOT to remove a tick

Our testing staff at TickEncounter have tried more than a dozen reportedly foolproof methods for tick removal. Learn why one common suggestion, burning the tick, is not the correct method!

How to remove a tick YouTube video

Safe Tick Removal

Over 4 million views on YouTube! That's how many people now know how to remove a tick properly. Watch the video and let us know the next time you use it to remove a tick on you or a family member, quickly and safely.