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Guide: How to Remove Ticks from People and Pets

As we start spending more time outside in the warmer weather, make sure you regularly check yourself, your family, and your pets for ticks. These small, parasitic arachnids latch onto humans and animals, often transmitting dangerous tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease, in the process. You’ll know a tick by its flat, wing-less body, which swells up the longer it feeds on a host. Ticks are attracted to warm areas of the body, like the armpits, scalp, behind the ears, behind the neck, and under clothing (or anywhere else that’s dark and hidden). On pets, they’ll latch onto any part of the body covered in fur, but especially their ears and paws, and burrow their heads deep into the skin to stay warm.

Check for ticks any time you come home from activities in the woods, a park, or any grassy areas. And if you happen to find one, stay calm and follow these steps to lower the risk of damage, infection, and spread of disease.



Step One | Clean Tweezers & Bite Area

First, make sure your equipment is clean and disinfected before you start the removal process. That means clean tweezers as well as clean hands. Use rubbing alcohol on the tweezers and bite area, if you have it available. Otherwise, soap and water will do just fine.



Step Two | Grab Tick Close to Head

removing tick

Next, get ready to grab the tick, as close to the head as possible, with your tweezers. Ticks are tiny, so you’ll want tweezers with a pointy tip, rather than a flat head. Position the tweezers as close to the skin as you can, so you can grip and pull it out from the head. If you grab the tick by the enlarged body instead, it’s likely to sever the tick in half, leaving the head inside the skin and continuing the exposure to tick-borne illness.



Step Three | Pull Out Slowly

Once you have hold of the tick by its head, slowly pull it away from the skin. Try not to twist or crush the tick, as that can again risk leaving the head inside the skin, continuing exposure to tick-borne illness. Pull the pest free firmly and gently. And if the head does break off, simply repeat the process until it is removed, while repeatedly disinfecting the area.



Step Four | Disinfect the Area

Now that the tick has been successfully removed, once again, you should disinfect the area. Use soap and warm water to scrub the area surrounding the bite, as well as the tweezers, your hands, and any surface that may have come in contact with the tick. For extra bacteria-killing measures, use rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer as a disinfectant.



Step Five | Save the Tick

Finally, save the tick in a plastic bag or sealed container. While saving the pest may seem weird, it’s important to get the tick tested for disease to ensure that you or your pets have not been exposed to any harmful diseases carried by ticks. Bring the tick to your local healthcare provider or veterinarian for testing. Record the date of the bite and the location where the tick bite likely occurred to help track data on tick-borne illnesses.


Now that you know how to safely remove a tick from people and pets, let Mosquito Hero help you eliminate tick activity from your property with our Tick Control Service. Request a quote today to help keep your family and pets safe from ticks this season!

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