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Guidelines for Safe Tick Removal

Sep 13, 2016 04:35PM ● By Ryan Frisch

It is important to periodically check yourself, your children, and pets for ticks. Promptly removing a tick could reduce the likelihood of contracting certain types of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease.

It takes time for ticks to insert their mouthparts and secrete a glue-like substance called attachment cement. The cement will harden and helps to further anchor the tick firmly in place.

Using thin tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull gently and slowly away from the skin. Do not twist, jerk, or pull hard on the tick or you risk leaving the mouthparts in the skin. After tick removal, disinfect the bite wound. If you find yourself scratching the bite, consider covering it with a bandage to prevent a secondary bacterial infection. It is a good idea to save the tick in case it is necessary for later identification.

Place the tick in a vial. Label the container with a date and note the attachment site of the tick. If you experience a rash, headaches, fever, and flu-like symptoms after a recent tick bite consult your physician.

NEVER use petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, a lit match, rubbing alcohol, or similar substances to remove a tick. These methods are not effective and may cause the tick to regurgitate pathogens into the bite wound.

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