How to Handle a Tick


Should I remove a tick and how?

Yes, remove a tick. But do not manhandle the tick by squeezing it, putting Vaseline over it, or holding a hot match to it, as this may increase the chance of transmitting disease. The tick should be removed with fine pointed tweezers. Grasp it from the side where it meets the skin, and, using steady gentle pressure, gently pull in the opposite direction from which it embedded, until the tick is released. Expect to see the skin “tent” as you gently pull. Place the tick in a lidded container or zip-lock bag. Wash and disinfect the bite site, your hands, and your tweezers. Avoid handling the tick.

If you use a tick removal device like a tick scoop or tick key, follow the directions given on the package for safe and effective use.

Should I save the tick?

Yes. It is a good idea to save the tick so that your doctor can identify its species and whether it has signs of feeding. Some people also save the tick to have it tested for Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterium that causes Lyme) or other tick-borne pathogens.

-From the ILADEF {International Lyme and Associated Diseases Education Foundation is a sister organization of ILADS}.

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