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How to Remove Ticks

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Ticks

To help reduce the possibility of tick-borne diseases, remove the tick using the below steps as soon as you’ve noticed it on your skin.

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.

  2. If the tick is embedded, pull it upwards using steady, even pressure. Never crush a tick while removing it.

  3. After the tick is removed, use clean hands to cleanse the bite and the area of the skin around it with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

  4. Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet or consider taking the tick to a healthcare provider for identification and further medical guidance.

  5. If you choose to take the tick to a healthcare provider, put it in a sealed plastic bag or resealable container with rubbing alcohol.

Tick Removal Do's & Don’ts

  • Don't twist, jerk, or squeeze the tick to remove it from the skin since doing so will break off the tick’s mouthparts and leave them in the skin.

  • Don’t use nail polish, petroleum jelly, or heat to make a tick detach from the skin. Studies have shown that doing so may cause ticks to attach themselves with greater determination and expel viruses or other disease organisms they may be carrying.

  • Do remove the embedded tick as soon as possible since the longer a tick is attached, the greater the risk of transmitting tick-borne illnesses.

When to See a Doctor After a Tick Bite

Bring the tick, or a photo of it to your doctor to help identify the species of tick.

  • If you can’t completely detach the tick. The longer a tick remains attached, the more likely the risk of getting a tick-borne disease or leaving parts of the tick in the skin.

  • If you have a rash that increases in size with a bulls-eye pattern and that appears within 3-14 days after a tick bite.

  • Other tick bite symptoms that require medical attention include:

    • Change in skin color, pain, and fluid emanating from the site of the bite.

    • Unusual tiredness

    • Headache

    • Muscle pain or swelling and pain in the joints.

    • Fever

    • Chills

Tick-Borne Diseases

Tick-borne diseases in the US include:

  • Lyme Disease

  • Ehrlichiosis

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever

  • Tularemia

  • Tick-borne relapsing fever

  • Powassan disease

  • Tick Paralysis

  • Anaplasmosis

  • Babesiosis

  • Bourbon Virus

  • Colorado Tick Fever

  • Heartland Virus

  • STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness)

  • Tickborne relapsing fever

  • Borrelia mayonii

  • Tick Paralysis

  • Alpha-gal Syndrome

How to Prevent Tick Bites

  • Properly dressing for tick protection is very important whenever going into an area where ticks are found. Wear light-colored clothing to make ticks easier to spot and tuck your pants firmly inside your socks to create a physical barrier against them.

  • Use insect repellent. Your Orkin Pro can help determine the most effective tick repellent and develop a personalized tick control plan.

  • If possible, avoid shady, wooded areas, low-lying plants, and shrubs. Stay in dry, open areas away from the edge of wooded, shady areas.

  • Conduct a “tick check” on clothing, skin, and your pets for ticks. Inspect clothing before putting it in the washer.

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