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How to Remove a Tick

As carriers of Lyme disease, ticks can be dangerous. Here's how to make sure you stay protected.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Remove with tweezers If you find a tick, never attempt to remove it by hand--use a pair of tweezers.
  • Step 2: Sterilize tweezers Sterilize the tweezers by swiping them with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, or by thoroughly washing them in soap and warm water.
  • Step 3: Grasp tick's head with tweezers Press the tweezers as close to your skin as possible and grasp the tick’s head where it enters your skin. Do so carefully, and avoid crushing the tick’s body, which can release bacteria.
  • Step 4: Pull tick away from skin Pull the tick directly away from your skin--do not attempt to twist or pry it out. Don’t panic if the tick’s mouthparts are left behind. Once the body is removed, it can no longer transmit bacteria.
  • TIP: Contrary to popular belief, trying to burn out the tick with a matchstick or smother it with petroleum jelly doesn’t work--the trauma causes it to release infected fluids into your skin.
  • Step 5: Place into container Place it into a small, lidded container, such as an empty pill or spice bottle, and push a tissue in after it. Add a splash of rubbing alcohol to kill any bacteria.
  • Step 6: Seal container & throw away Seal the container and throw it in the trash. Never flush a tick down the toilet--it can easily survive in water.
  • TIP: If you don’t have a small, lidded container handy, seal the tick in a small plastic storage bag or wrap it up in tape and throw it in the trash.
  • Step 7: Clean area Thoroughly clean the area on your skin with soap and warm water, or rubbing alcohol.
  • FACT: The superhero 'The Tick' was created in 1986 by a 17-year-old comics-store employee as a mascot for the store’s newsletter.

You Will Need

  • A pair of fine-tip tweezers
  • Some rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Warm water
  • Soap
  • A small
  • disposable
  • lidded container
  • A tissue
  • A pair of gloves (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • A sealable plastic storage bag (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • Tape (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • A washer and dryer (optional) (optional) (optional)

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