Tip Of The Week

 

How to remove a tick

It's Springtime in the Pioneer Valley, which means it's high tick season! If you find a tick attached to your skin, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.

  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove everything easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Clipart image showing how to remove an embedded tick with a pair of tweezers.

 

Now what?

The likelihood of developing an illness from a tick bite is low, particualrly if the tick has not been attached for more than 24-48 hours and it is not engorged. While you do not need to see us for every tick bite, please call if you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, and then make sure to tell us about the recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.