It’s Tick Bite Season! Prevention & Removal Tips

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It's tick bite season; here are some great tips for tick prevention and removal.

Lyme disease is a major concern during the summer months, usually due to deer ticks who can transmit a number of unfavorable organisms that can make us ill, and experience unusual symptoms which may be life threatening.

Of course, prevention is the best way to avoid having a tick bite, but sometimes, they will attach to us in ways that we never imagined. This happened to my wife this past year while planting flowers, and we never figured out how the tick got on her. Luckily, it was not attached, and we captured it and had her doctor evaluate and she was treated preventatively and watched over the following three weeks. Luckily, there were no problems.

Deer ticks are the main culprit. They are small and distinct.

Here are some recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there's no need to panic. Several tick removal devices are available on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick effectively.

How to remove a tick

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Helpful Hint

icon of a tickAvoid folklore remedies such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible--do not wait for it to detach.

clipart style image showing the proper removal of a tick using a pair of tweezers


If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick. 

Below is some great advice from the University of Manitoba who produced these videos on tick avoidance and removal. Check them out below