How to Safely Remove Deer Ticks

Deer ticks should be carefully removed from their hosts. Improper removal may prove ineffective and can increase the risk of infection or of contracting a disease. Deer ticks are arachnids that use their mouthparts to penetrate the skin of their hosts. If mouthparts are not thoroughly removed, secondary bacterial infections can occur.

To properly remove a deer tick, it is best to use tweezers or forceps. Do not hold the specimen by its abdomen, as this may crush the tick and release further disease-laden fluids. Position the tweezers as close to the skin as possible and use a steady, gentle motion to remove the tick. The use of alcohol or petroleum jelly should be avoided prior to removal, as these substances may cause the specimen to regurgitate its food and release more germs into the host's blood stream. For medical concerns, contact a medical professional.

Resources

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