How to remove a tick
Ticks can carry disease, so it's a good idea to avoid them entirely. But if one bites you, make sure you remove it correctly—as this infographic illustrates.
Remove a tick in 4 easy steps
There are more than 90 different types of ticks in the U.S. But there's 1 simple tool to remove a tick from your skin. Grab a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, and follow these steps:
- Grasp the tick right next to your skin—as close to its mouth as you can get.
- Pull the tick straight out with a slow, steady motion. Don't twist or crush it.
- Save the tick in a jar for identification in case of infection.
- Use soap and water to clean your skin and hands.
Don't use these!
These tools aren't effective for removing a tick:
- Petroleum jelly
- Nail polish
Call your doctor if:
Part of the tick's head or mouth remains embedded in your skin.
You notice any signs of infection, such as:
- A rash.
- Fever, headache or other flu-like symptoms.
- Joint pain or redness.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institutes of Health