How do I remove an embedded tick?
The transmission of diseases from an infected tick is unlikely to occur before several hours of tick attachment. For this reason, daily checks for ticks and promptly removing any attached tick that you find will help prevent infection. Embedded ticks should be removed using fine-tipped tweezers. DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products. With a steady motion, pull the tick's body away from the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.
To remove attached ticks, use the following procedure:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers or shield your fingers with a tissue, paper towel, or rubber gloves, when removing the tick; otherwise infectious agents may enter through mucous membranes and breaks in the skin.
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure.
- DO NOT twist or jerk the tick; this may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.
- DO NOT squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain infectious organisms.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water.
- Bring the tick to the Health Department for free Tick Identification Service.