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Removing a Tick

Category Ticks
Ticks are blood sucking parasitic arachnids that feed on mammals, birds, and sometimes even reptiles and amphibians. Because of how they attach to the host they can be difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing a tick.
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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 14 found this helpful
July 30, 2010

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball and cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball. Let it stay on the repulsive insect for one minute, after which the tick will come out on it's own. If the tick is not stuck to the cotton ball, wipe the area gently with a washcloth and the tick will stick to the washcloth. Repeat if necessary.

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This is the safest and best way to remove a tick because there is no chance of part of the tick breaking away under the skin. I can't see where this could be harmful to anyone unless of course the person has an allergy to soap. I've had this tip saved for a while and had the opportunity to try it today on my husband. It worked perfect on the first try and he was more than impressed and grateful:)

Source: Received in an email from my friend Debbie who lives in Tallahassee, FL who said it came from a school nurse who learned it from a Pediatrician.

By SieraStar from Crystal River, FL

Comment Was this helpful? 14

May 28, 2014

I saw this on Facebook and tried it this morning. It works!

To remove a tick, apply a small amount of Dawn Dish Detergent to a cotton ball. Place it on the tick and hold it for about one minute. Gently rub the area and the tick will turn loose and stick to the cotton ball. After removing the tick, clean the area with alcohol.

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I looked at the tick under a magnifying glass and could see that all of it was removed and it was not wiggling a bit. Flushed it down the toilet.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

June 22, 2010

I live in a woodsy area so when I'm working in the yard with plants or mowing and cleaning up, I do pick up a tick every so often. Most of the time people just pull them off and this results in a sore.

If you will soak a piece of cotton in finger nail polish remover and hold it on the tick for 2 or 3 minutes, it should let loose and you can just pick it off. If it doesn't let go, reapply the cotton for another 2 or 3 minutes. This suffocates the tick and when it dies it lets go. If you just pull it loose, the head comes off and remains under the skin causing itching and a sore. This was a common practice when I was a kid and we went blackberry picking in the woods.

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Source: My mother used this remedy when I was a kid.

By Clynnaltemus from Inglis, FL

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By 2 found this helpful
May 9, 2012

The most recent information on tick removal is to simply grab the little bugger with tweezers. Grab them behind the head so you hold the whole body with the tweezers, and pull it right straight backwards, out of your skin. Don't twist it, just pull straight out. Put the tick into a baggie or clear tape to take to the doctor, and wash the bite with soap and water. Take the tick to the doctor to be tested for Lyme Disease, which can become a chronic problem.

Source: Girl Scout and Boy Scout outdoor trainings

By Eileen from Elk Grove, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 2

May 9, 2011

The best way to remove a tick, use tweezers or a tick removal device and pull the tick off. Grab the tick as close to the head as possible. With steady, gentle pressure, pull the tick out of the skin. It's not a bad idea to wear gloves when doing this. Do not touch the tick. If the head of the tick remains in the skin, try to grab it and remove as much as you can. If some parts remain, your vet can remove them.

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Touching a tick with a hot match or applying fingernail polish may kill the tick, but will not cause it to detach. Then you are likely in for a trip to the vet. Be sure to NEVER use flea and tick products on a cat that are meant for a dog. It can easily be fatal if you do so.

By Lizzyanny from Pacific Northwest

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 20, 2006

I need to know how to remove a tick. Do I just pull it out? My cat, Calvin, and I both thank you for the help.

fab4mom from Walker, LA

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
February 20, 20060 found this helpful

While everything I have read suggests using tweezers to slowly pull the tick out while spinning it (as if unscrewing it), we have found it very helpful to drop a few drops of tick repellent on the tick first. Since pulling the tick out too quickly may cause the body to be removed while leaving the head in your pet (possibly causing infection), it is difficult to take the necessary time. The repellent encourages the tick to let go much more quickly. As none of the repellents from our veterinarian worked as a preventative on our labrador retriever due to our heavily wooded area, we have used Cloud 9 Herbal Dip, a natural product, for 6 years with great success. Sterilize the tweezers as well as the wound site afterwards. Alcohol works fine.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 20, 20060 found this helpful

I used to be a groomer and when I found ticks we smothered a cotton ball in alcohol and covered the tick with it for a second or two and then used tweezers to pull the tick off. Always use a "twisting" motion and pull gently. If they are stubborn about coming off, having another person hold the cotton ball over the tick while you are grasping with the tweezers and pulling, usually helps a lot.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 20, 20060 found this helpful

I foster dogs, we counted on 8 new dogs that came in, 56 ticks on all 8. We used a thick dish soap, like ajax, it suffocates them and is antibacterial for the wound. If it does not work I heard rubbing alcohol also works good.

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February 21, 20060 found this helpful

We always use alcohol. It makes them turn loose.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 21, 20060 found this helpful

Our hospital emergency room removed ticks from a young woman's hair by coating the tick with KY Jelly. The tick let go immediately and was remved. Can also use Vasoline Petroleum Jelly.

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February 21, 20060 found this helpful

Ooh, don't pull it out - it'll break apart and leave its head in there (I know, it sounds gross.) Rubbing alcohol has always been the best method for us.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 22, 20060 found this helpful

To the person 'living in the woods' where do you find 'Cloud 9 Herbal Dip'?

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March 9, 20060 found this helpful

Apply Tea Tree Oil to the live tick or leech and surrounding skin. Leave for 20 minutes. The tick may fall off. If not, remove it carefully (make certain no part of the tick is left in the skin). Continue applying the oil to the bite three times per day for up to seven days.

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful

According to Drs. Foster and Smith:

"To remove a tick, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. To dislodge it, grab the tick by its head and pull directly outward. Cleanse the bite wound with an antiseptic and remember to wash your hands afterward."

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Answer this Question...

April 3, 20070 found this helpful

I found a tick on my dog. How do I safely remove it?

Thanks,
Lewis

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
April 3, 20070 found this helpful

I have tried, a cottonball with proxide (soaking cottonball) and place on tick.....Also Nail polish remover on cottonball, dabbing tic. till it starts to back out. also, If your quick, light a match, blow it out, and lay HOT match on tic. you may have to repeat afew times to get tic to come lose.
Good luck. Also contact your Vet. he might have some better ideas

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 4, 20070 found this helpful

We did the same. A lit cigerette and carefully placed it on the butt of the tick and it backed right out. You then have to practically smash them with a hammer to kill the dang things! I hate them. LOL

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 4, 20070 found this helpful

I used to do dog grooming and I can assure you that here in Iowa ticks are a major problem, especially in the spring and summer months! The way I removed them was to soak a cotton ball in alcohol. Then, take a pair of tweezers and grab the back end of the tick. Then cover the end of the tweezers and the tick with the cotton ball. The alcohol will make them back up. You should use a gentle twisting motion as you pull them out because pulling straight out will cause the head to stay in if, perchance, the tick hasn't completely withdrawn it's head. Good luck!

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 4, 20070 found this helpful

Using a match or anything hot risks burning your pet. Coat the tick with oil or vaseline. Wait a little while and the tick will suffocate. Then remove it with tweezers, being sure to get all of it-head especially.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 11, 20070 found this helpful

You can use ice. Peanut butter works also because it smothers the tick

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

Can u tell me how to remove the head of the tic? I tried to remove it but the head stayed in.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 6, 2012

Someone had suggested putting some kind of lotion on the tick and it will back out. I can't remember what it was. Help!

By Anne

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May 28, 20070 found this helpful

What is the best way to remove a tick from a human?

Mary from Washington, MO

Answers

May 28, 20070 found this helpful

Just saw this on Oprah, Dr. Oz said to pull the tick straight out with a pair of tweezers. You can leave the head in, the body will work it out. I think he said if you are in a Lyme disease region to then take the tick to your dr. to have it checked. Do not try to burn, smother or drown the tick out, they don't work.

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May 31, 20070 found this helpful

One of my friends sent me an email recently about this very thing. They said to put a glob of liquid soap on a cotton ball, put it on the tick for a few minutes and the tick will come out and be sticking to the soap. You can throw away the whole mess. Unless you need to have it tested. It's supposed to work but thank goodness, I never had the need (knock wood) to test it.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 31, 20070 found this helpful

MY GRAND-DAUGHTER HAD A TICK IN HER ARM WE JUST USED ALCOHOL WE DUMP IT ON AND IN ABOUT 2MINS THE TICK JUST BACKS OUT OF THE SKINS. I WOULD SAY THERES NO BETTER WAY.

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July 1, 20070 found this helpful

I have Lyme disease and have become and expert on this terrible disease. It all starts with a tick bite, typically in it's nymph stage, the tick is the size of a period (.) and is skin colored. Once he starts to fill up on your blood, he becomes dark in color and is larger. If you remove a tick improperly and this tick is carrying any of the tick borne illnesses, most notably Lyme disease, then you most likely will contract the disease. Here is a website that tells of the proper way to remove a tick, NEVER use alcohol, soap, a match or anything else, as this may upset the tick and he may expel his toxins into your body!

http://www.lyme  cks/removal.html

The most important part of this tutorial is using a fine nosed tweezers and actually try to get below the bite, this will entail pulling some of your skin with the tick and it will hurt... This is the safest way to prevent tick borne illnesses.

Trust me, you don't want to contract this disease and then be one of the 20% that antibiotics can't help and have to live with this disease. ALWAYS check for ticks every time you bathe and every time you come in from a wooded area... Ticks are everywhere, on all continents, in all countries and in every state in the USA. Most people think ticks are carried only by deer, but all warm blooded mammals including all birds carry them and thus they are widely dispersed.

Currently, 23,000 cases of Lyme are reported to the CDC yearly, but this disease is widely underreported and the true figure is 10 to 100 times this amount, meaning 230,000 to 2.3 million yearly.

This is spoken from a true Lyme warrior,

Jim in Jax

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 20, 20080 found this helpful

I haven't used this on ticks, but pure glycerin kills any other insect on contact by dehydration; it actually draws all the water out of the insect body (kills all bacteria it contacts the same ways, too.) So I would expect that a drop of pure drugstore Glycerin on a tick would instantly kill it, and probably it would drop out as it would be rather shrunken.

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By 1 found this helpful
May 28, 2010

Is there an easy way to remove ticks? I heard of one using cotton balls, but can't remember what the cotton ball was dipped in. Thanks and God bless.

By Joan from Lewes

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By 0 found this helpful
May 7, 2016

I need to know how to remove the head of a tick.

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April 10, 20120 found this helpful

What is the best way to remove a tick from a human when it has started to bury in?

By Barbara

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By 0 found this helpful
April 5, 2010

I am looking for a holistic tick remedy.

By Lori

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