There are hundreds of different home remedies for how to safely remove a tick and, believe it or not, almost all of them are ineffective and somewhat dangerous.
Due to the fact that removing a tick from a human can be such risky business, we wanted to set the record straight and fill you in on the quickest and most effective way to remove these blood-suckers: tweezers!
So wait, after all the articles, tips and tricks, the best way to remove a tick is still using tweezers? You bet! The reason being that a lot of tick removal shortcuts require messing with the tick's abdomen or butt (the brown part of the tick in the picture below).
What are Ticks?
Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of animals and humans. They can range in size from as small as a poppy seed to as large as a grape. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, or brushy areas, and they can attach to any part of the body, especially in warm and moist places such as armpits, groin, and scalp.
Why You Need to Remove a Tick From a Human
Tick bites can cause serious health problems such as Lyme disease, which can lead to chronic illness and even death. Early removal of a tick can prevent the transmission of disease-causing pathogens. Therefore, it's essential to remove ticks as soon as you notice them.
How to Identify a Tick Bite?
Identifying a tick bite can be difficult because ticks are tiny, and their bites are painless. However, if you have been bitten by a tick, you may experience symptoms such as redness, itching, and a bullseye rash. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
How Not to Remove a Tick from a Human
Some common and ineffective tick removal tactics we've heard about include using petroleum jelly, fire or nail polish on the exposed tick. These methods can cause the tick to push or spit dangerous and disease-ridden fluid into a human body. In addition, messing with a tick's abdomen could puncture or "pop" the tick's abdomen, exposing the victim, or the person helping, to the dangerous bacteria.
So what's the best way to safely remove a tick?
First, make sure you wear protective gloves and disinfect your tweezers. Next, using the tweezers, gently pinch the portion of the tick closest to the skin (see below), ensuring you do not squeeze the tick’s abdomen.
Slowly pull the tick away from the skin with the tweezers, using equal and constant pressure. Be careful not to twist or turn the tick.
Don't worry if the tick's head breaks off and stays latched to the skin, as the dangerous part of the tick (the abdomen) has been removed. The rest should be pushed out by your body over time.
Once removed, freeze the tick in a sealable container in case you get sick and your doctor asks you to identify the tick.
After the tick is safely contained, clean the bite area, taking note of the location of the bite by snapping a picture.
It is important to keep an eye on the area where the bite occurred and seek medical attention if you start to notice any skin discoloration or if you feel sick.
In an effort to help you recognize what the common diseases caused by ticks look like, visit the CDC's website.
If you're like most people, you'd prefer to prevent tick bites altogether. Check out these tips on how to repel ticks in yards and how to prevent tick bites. In addition, a local tick control professional will be able to help you identify trouble spots in your yard and help you develop a prevention plan.
For additional information about controlling ticks in your area, contact your local NaturaLawn lawn care service provider or give us a call at 800-989-5444, and we'll be glad to answer your questions or re-direct you to the appropriate NaturaLawn® of America franchise location.