How to Safely Remove a Tick from Pets and People

An engorged tick being held up by tweezers.

If you and your pets enjoy exploring the great outdoors, or even just relaxing in your own backyard, there’s always a chance a tick may find you. Your first instinct may be to rip off these blood-sucking pests as soon as you notice them; however, improperly removing ticks can lead to other complications. Ticks carry a variety of diseases, such as Lyme disease, and squeezing them can push more bacteria into the wound on you, your loved ones, or your pets. Educate yourself on how to safely remove a tick from humans and pets with McCall Service!

How to Safely Remove a Tick from a Human

You may have heard old folktales about burning or smothering ticks to remove them, but you should never use these techniques. They will only irritate the tick and cause it to burrow deeper into the skin. You should only use a pair of clean, fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick.

To remove the tick, use the tweezers to grab the tick as close as you can to the skin’s surface. Next, pull the tick upward with a steady, firm motion. Jerking or twisting a tick may cause its mouth parts or entire head to break off in the skin.

If parts of the tick do break off in the skin, clean them out. Leaving them embedded in the skin can contribute to an infection. Use a magnifying glass to inspect the bite site before cleaning it with water and soap.

How to Remove a Tick from a Cat or Dog

The process of removing a tick from a dog or cat is similar to removing one from a human—use tweezers and pull upward in a slow, firm motion. Only try to remove a tick from your pet when they are calm and lying down. If your cat or dog is nervous, distract them with pets and treats while you remove the tick.

In the situation that your pet has an engorged tick (a tick that has been feeding for several days), take them to a veterinarian for removal. A blood-engorged tick on a cat or dog looks like a round blob, either brown, gray, or green in color.

Depending on how long ticks have been feeding (between a few days or a week), they can have a diameter between ¼ and ⅔ of an inch. Removing an engorged tick on your own will increase the risk of infection.

Should I keep a tick that bit me?

It may seem strange to keep a tick. However, because these pests carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, some people save ticks and bring them in for testing. The CDC recommends visiting a doctor to discuss Lyme disease testing if a rash or fever develops weeks after you or your loved ones received the bite.

Don’t plan to keep the tick? Get rid of it by drowning it in rubbing alcohol, throwing it out in a sealed bag, or flushing it down a toilet.

Prevent Tick Bites with McCall Service

Completely preventing ticks from biting you and your pets may not be feasible, but you can still keep these pests at bay in your backyard with McCall Service. We’ll inspect for the factors that contribute to a tick problem, such as wildlife activity. Ticks also use long grass to grab onto clothes, shoes, or pets’ fur.

Following our inspection, we’ll provide recommendations for wildlife control, lawn care, and other services to manage ticks around your home.

Give yourself peace of mind against ticks in Florida. Request a free quote from McCall Service today!

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