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How to Get a Tick Off of a Person

By Nikki Jardin ; Updated July 27, 2017

Tick bites don't hurt...and that's the problem. Sometimes you don't know the buggers are there until you discover them hours after that long hike in the woods or quiet picnic in the meadow. By that time they have dug themselves into your skin too deeply to just brush them off. There are plenty of rumored "remedies" for tick removal: nail polish, petroleum jelly, even holding a flame to the tick (don't do that). But all you need is a pair of tweezers and possibly someone to help you. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, so removing them as quickly as possible is key.

Use your tweezers to grip the tick as close to the entry point of the skin as possible.

Pull, slowly, gently and in a steady motion until the tick is removed. Do not yank quickly or try to twist the tick out. This could cause parts of the tick's head and mouth to remain in your body.

Save the tick by putting it in a glass jar or plastic bag and seal tightly. Ticks can carry both Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If you wish, take the tick to your local Public Health Office for analysis and potential treatment.

Wash the bitten area thoroughly with soap and rinse well with water.


Reduce the likelihood of tick bites by wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants while hiking, and tucking your pants into your socks or boots.

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