What is the Best Way to Remove a Tick?
Sometimes using the best insect repellent and wearing the best tick-resistant clothing does not keep these parasites off of you. Therefore, it is important to know how to properly remove a tick when you (or your child, dog, friend…) has a tick latched-on. It is also important to remove a tick as soon as possible. According to the CDC, removing a tick within 24 hours of being bitten greatly reduces the risk of getting Lyme disease.
Here are a few different methods for removing a tick when you have all the “tools” available. We’ll even show you how to remove a tick when you are in the middle of nowhere & have to “MacGyver” it.
As you can see in the picture, a tick spoon is basically a spoon with a notch in the front. This is the easiest method we have found to remove a tick.
To remove a tick using a tick spoon, press the spoon gently against the skin and slide the notched part of the spoon between the skin and the head of the tick. This can be done from any direction. Once in place, SLOWLY continue to slide the spoon along the skin until the tick is removed (do not lift up). The tick will end up in the spoon. Tick spoons are inexpensive and easy to carry anywhere you go.
Tweezers work well, too. With tweezers, pinch the tick as close to the skin as possible and, slowly but steadily, pull the tick straight up. Don’t jerk it or twist back & forth. – doing so will increase the chance of mouth parts remaining in the skin.
How do I Remove a Tick when I don’t have Tweezers or a Tick Spoon?
Even if you don’t have tweezers or a tick spoon, there are still some tricks for removing a tick while you are out in nature.
If you have a thread or a piece of fishing line, make it into a knot and ‘lasso’ the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it out slowly.
If you need to pull a tick out by hand, wear gloves, or, if you don’t have gloves, you can use a leaf to keep from getting infected by the tick’s fluids.
Once you are done removing a tick, clean the wound with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
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