tick embedded in dog fur

Removing a Tick: What To Do and What NOT To Do

Ticks thrive in warm, humid weather and start coming out in huge numbers during spring and summer. Despite your best efforts, it can be hard to avoid tick bites during these times of the year, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors hiking or camping.

If one of these arachnids latches onto you or a beloved pet to get a blood meal, it’s essential that you know how to remove it correctly.

How to Remove a Tick

There are many tools available to remove ticks effectively, but according to the CDC and AKC, a common pair of fine-tipped tweezers will do. Here’s how to remove a tick with a pair of tweezers:

  1. Disinfect the tweezers by dipping the tips in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Alternatively, you can wipe the tips with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Grasp the tick with the clean tweezers as close to the skin as you can.
  3. Pull the tick in an upward motion, using even pressure. Avoid jerking or twisting the tick to dislodge it. Those motions can sever the tick’s mouth-parts, leaving them behind in the skin while the rest of the tick gets pulled away.

Note: If the mouth-part does break off and end up in the skin, and if you cannot remove it easily, don’t try to dig it out. Just leave it and allow the skin to heal over it.

  1. Once you’ve removed the tick, you can drop it in alcohol or flush it down the toilet to get rid of it. However, you may want to keep it in a sealed bag or container so that it can be tested for diseases. Just keep in mind that those tests tend to be on the pricey side.
  2. Monitor yourself (or your pet) for symptoms of Lyme disease or other illnesses over the next few weeks. If symptoms occur, see a doctor as early as possible.

What NOT To Do

Removing the tick as soon as possible should be your top priority to avoid disease. Do NOT attempt the following remedies that people outside the medical field suggest:

  • Covering the tick with Vasoline (petroleum jelly) or nail polish
  • Burning the tick off with a flame or other source of extreme heat

Tick Control in NJ

At Horizon Pest Control, our pest control professionals can thoroughly inspect your property for ticks and put the right treatments in place to eliminate the problem: (201) 365-9886.

Categories