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Tugging at ticks

What’s the best way to remove and treat a tick bite? My recent attempt severed the head, which required a hospital visit to remove.

Question:

What’s the best way to remove and treat a tick bite? My recent attempt severed the head, which required a hospital visit to remove.

Submitted by - Paul - Pine Beach, NJ

Answer:

The only method approved by the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) is grasping the tick as close as possible to your skin with sharp-nosed tweezers and pulling the arachnid without jerking or twisting. If you pull straight and slow, it’s highly unlikely that the mouth parts will detach. After removal, treat the bite site with an antiseptic swab and some antibiotic ointment.

Ticks transmit bacteria and parasites, so a better strategy for avoiding a hospital visit is to deter them. In tick country, wear light clothing and tuck in cuffs. Ticks like to nestle in to tight spots before anchoring, so check all over your body, especially your groin, waistband area, and sock line for embedded or wandering bugs. Deet- and permethrin-based repellents are also effective.

1 Comment

  1. Scott

    In the past I have tried the Vaseline and match theory. Does not work. Tweezers was difficult at best. I have several tick tools and have only had to use them on the dog and not me but they worked ok. Checked out the Tick Twister and that seems innovative…and cheap. Ordered a couple to throw in my daypacks. Prevention is the best method of tick removal. Ticks take time to find their spot and drill in. They can be intercepted easily through prevention tactics. In tick country? Check, check, check.

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