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How to Remove a Tick on a Human

Ticks can attach themselves to animals or humans. Once they do, they begin drawing blood. When a tick is found, it should be removed immediately 1. The longer it is allowed to stay and draw blood, the higher the person's chances are of contracting a tick-borne illness 1. It is important to remove the tick correctly so that it doesn't have a chance to regurgitate its saliva 1.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Hold a piece of paper next to the tick if it has not attached itself yet 1. Guide the tick onto the piece of paper and use it to transport the tick to an ashtray 1. Slide the tick off into the ashtray and use a match to burn the tick 1.

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Purchase a Sawyer tick plier (see Resources) 1. These pliers will do a better job of removing the tick's head than a set of tweezers 1. If you don't have a set of pliers, you can use the tweezers.

Grab the tick as close to your skin as you can with the pliers or tweezers 1.

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Pull the pliers or tweezers straight up and be careful that you don't turn them in any other direction.

Examine the skin to make sure all of the tick came out 1. If the head is still in the skin, you will need to use the pliers or tweezers again to get it out.

Rub an antiseptic over the area where the tick had attached itself 1. You can purchase an antiseptic at your local pharmacy.


Watch the area for a bull's-eye. This may indicate Lyme disease. If you see a bull's-eye, visit your doctor for a blood test.


Using petroleum jelly or nail polish remover can cause the tick to release its saliva into your body, increasing the risk of contracting a tick borne-illness.