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How to Remove a Tick

To remove it, follow these steps from Tom Mather, director of the University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Resource Center.

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Prepare

Have a resealable plastic bag at the ready. Wear protective gloves; disinfect the attachment area with rubbing alcohol.

 

Detach

Hold a pointy tweezer as close to the skin as possible, and grasp the tick gently but firmly near its head. (Squeezing too tightly may puncture it and release its fluids, leading to infection.) Pull upward in a slow but steady motion to remove the tick.

 

Capture

Put the tick in the plastic bag and seal it. Disinfect your pet again, then jot down where on your pet you found it and when. Take a photo if possible.

 

Identify

You can try to figure out what kind of tick it is by checking tickencounter.org or emailing the site a photo. If it seems to be a harmless variety and your pet develops no symptoms, you can throw away the (now dead) tick after three weeks.

 

Test

If the tick is a disease-causing type, have it tested for infection. (Some state-run facilities do this for free. Independent labs can charge $50 or more; call your town’s health department for local listings.) Discuss next steps with your vet: Remember, an infected tick doesn’t necessarily mean an infected pet, but you’ll want to run the proper diagnostics just in case.

 

Preventive Pest Control
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