How to Safely Remove a Tick

What You'll Need
Rubbing Alcohol
Cotton Ball
Gloves (optional)
Matches (optional)
Container (optional)

Did you know that there are safe ways and not so safe ways to remove a tick? It is important to know how to properly remove and dispose ticks or you can risk harmful bacteria being released in your blood. The following steps will show you how to remove a tick the right way.

Step 1 - Preparing the Area for Tick Removal

There is a common misconception that if you smother the tick it will release its grasp on the skin making it easier to remove. Many people tend to use mineral oil to do this. It may sound good in theory but it doesn't work. Others will swear by using alcohol or nail polish remover instead of mineral oil. The fact of the matter is that neither works and will usually cause the tick to actually vomit which releases toxins in your body. In order to actually remove the tick you want to first apply the rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball or cotton swab. You then want to apply the rubbing alcohol around the area that the tick is stuck to without covering the tick with it. This helps to cool your skin which causes the tick to misread your body heat and loosen its grasp.

Step 2 - Removal of the Tick

Now that you have treated the area around the tick it is time to remove it. First, locate where the head of the tick is and see how far it is in the skin and if medical attention is needed to extract it. Next, use the tweezers and grip the tick at the head. Now, do not pull up too hard because you will most likely cause the head to detach which is not good. Instead you want to gently wiggle the tweezers back and forth to loosen the tick's attachment. Now, slowly pull straight up until you feel the tick detach. With it detached you can now check to see if the head is still attached.

Step 3 - Disposal of the Tick and Wound Cleaning

There are several ways in which to dispose of a removed tick. Which you choose is entirely up to you and what you want to do with it. If you are in an area that's known for Lyme disease then store the tick in a container of rubbing alcohol. The alcohol preserves the tick so when you take it to the vet they can perform the proper tests to determine if it was a carrier. If the tick is still alive (or not) you can place it in your sink or ash tray and burn it with a match. Never throw the tick a garbage can because it may still be alive and can crawl out. With the tick removed and disposed of you can now clean the site area with antiseptic.