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
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.