How to Remove a Tick

Although most ticks do not carry disease, those that do typically need 24 to 48 hours of feeding to transmit infections like Lyme disease, so prompt and proper removal is crucial. If you discover a tick on yourself or a pet, follow these steps to safely and successfully remove it:

Gently pull back any hair from around the tick to expose the skin near the bite.

Locate the head of the tick, grasp it as close to the skin as possible using fine-tipped tweezers and gently squeeze. Don’t grab the tick’s body, as this can increase the chance of injecting the tick’s blood into the skin.

Pull outward in a straight motion until the head comes out of the skin. Don’t twist or wiggle the tick, as that could tear the head off and leave it lodged in the skin.

Once removed, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water. Flush the tick down the toilet or wrap it tightly in a tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor and be sure to tell them about the tick bite.

Watch the step-by step video