Tick Removal

If an attached tick is found, it is important to remove it promptly and properly. The longer the tick is attached, the greater the risk of infection.

Use fine pointed tweezers or a tick removal tool.

DO NOT apply liquids, gels or heat to the tick; these rarely cause it to release and may make removal more difficult.

When using a tick removal tool, follow the manufacturer's instructions. There is a useful demonstration at https://youtu.be/oCuWVqWdWUE. When using fine-pointed tweezers, grasp the tick at the skin line and gently pull straight out at a 90° angle. If possible, avoid squeezing the tick because this may increase the risk of infection.

Seek medical advice for all tick bites. Many doctors prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of Lyme Disease. The decision often depends on whether there was evidence the tick had begun feeding and the age of the person who was bitten. Based on limited scientific evidence, and provided it is safe to do so, the ILADS treatment guidelines recommend a 20-day course of doxycycline.

If Lyme Disease symptoms appear after a bite (whether or not it was treated) call a doctor right away. Prompt treatment is important for full recovery.

If you have been bitten by a tick and are worried about infection, you can send the tick for testing to find out what diseases it is carrying. In the UK, options are: