What’s the most effective way to remove a tick?
Tick-borne diseases are serious business. Experts advise wearing long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks to deter ticks. But let’s get real? When the mercury rises in the summertime, we want to wear light clothing such as shorts, flip flops, tank tops, and bathing suits, leaving lots of bare skin to tempt ticks.
One big misconception is that tick checks only need to include arms and legs, but these invasive insects are super-sneaky; so remember to check your entire body, including your navel, scalp, underarms, neck, and groin area. Having an extra pair of eyes is also extremely helpful, so when possible, do tick checks in twos. In addition, before putting your clothes away, check them for ticks as well because once inside, they can travel and potentially infect you or your loved ones.
Animal owners also need to be vigilant and check their pets frequently. If you do find a tick on yourself, on a family member, or on your pet, the best way to remove it is with a pair of tweezers. Put on a pair of disposable gloves, securely grasp the tick, and pull straight up to remove the entire tick off the skin. Make sure to clean the affected area with alcohol.
Avoid home remedies such as trying to “smother” the tick by applying petroleum jelly, dish soap, nail-polish remover, or alcohol. These methods have proven to be largely ineffective. If you are having trouble removing the tick, see a doctor as soon as possible.