To remove a tick is thought to be a simple process, done by pulling the tick from the bite site. However, precautions should be taken. The mouth parts,which are barbed, enable ticks to imbed themselves in the skin. To remove a tick, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the head (and mouth parts) as close to the tick bite site as possible. Grabbing and pulling the tick increases the chance of spreading any diseases the tick may be carrying. Apply an even, gentle tugging to remove a tick until it comes free. Once removed, the tick should be flushed down a toilet or washed down a sink, not squeezed or crushed. This too may cause the spread of infected blood. After you successfully remove a tick from the person or pet and discard the tick, wash the tick bite site. Also wash hands and tweezers with hot, soapy water.
Prevent ticks by following a few simple rules:
•Avoid grassy or shrubby areas where ticks may be present •Avoid tick season completely by staying indoors or away from areas where ticks thrive (usually April – September) •Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be seen and brushed off or removed •Tuck pants into socks or boots and wear long sleeve shirt •Use Flea & Tick Pets + Home Tick Spray on pets and Insect Repellent Insect Repellent on yourself before entering any area where ticks may be present •Promptly and thoroughly check both animals and yourself after coming from an area where ticks may have been and be sure to follow procedures for properly removing ticks
* Avoid folklore remedies for removing ticks such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove a tick as quickly as possible--not wait for it to detach.
If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor immediately. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.