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Tick Removal: What NOT To Do

Jennifer Smith

Posted on May 14 2019

Spring is prime season for tick movement, as adventure seekers explore the great outdoors and go on long hikes and camping trips. This is also the time of year when tick bites and potential infection occur most in humans and pets.

Bit by a tick? Don't panic (easier said than done, I know); but when what's the first thought that comes to mind when one sees a latched-on tick? "Get this thing off me now - don't care how."

There are wrong ways to remove ticks from the skin. Here they are:

  • Do not use fingers or start clawing at the tick. This action could lead to part of the tick breaking off and leaving the head and body embedded in the skin. This could lead to the spread of possible tick infection, such as Lyme Disease. 
  • Do not use nail polish remover to take off the tick. While people suggest that the tick will fall out of the skin, this is not an effective measure of tick disease prevention. 
  • Do not burn the tick out of the skin. Come on now, this is your skin. And, don't get lighters near dog or cat fur, either. Some suggest the tick will remove itself from the skin, but why risk burning yourself?
  • Do not use tape to to thrust the tick out. Removing a tick is not like removing a band aid. It requires gentle care and tools.


The right way to remove a tick is to use a tick removal tool such as tweezers or other device where one can pull the tick straight up. Do not twist and turn the tick! Use the tool effectively to reduce the threat of tick diseases.