Ticks are one of the less pleasant signs of summer. Their bites don’t hurt, but they can still be dangerous. Once a tick latches on, the longer it remains attached, the more likely it is to cause a tick-borne illness. It’s important to remove a tick as soon as soon as you see it.
To safely remove a tick, grab it as close to the skin as possible with a pair of sterilized tweezers and pull straight up, applying steady pressure. Don’t twist the tweezers, as this might cause the head to break off. If this happens, use the tweezers to remove the head, if possible. Don’t dig around, however, creating an injury.
After removing the tick, clean the bite site with alcohol or soap and water.
Don’t squash the separated tick with your fingers. Instead, drown it in alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape or flush it down the toilet. If a rash or fever appears within a few weeks of the bite, see your healthcare provider. You may have contracted a tick-born disease that requires further treatment. Tick-Borne Diseases | NIOSH | CDC