The Best Way To Remove A Tick

 In Understanding Lyme

It’s scary enough to find a tick embedded in your (or your loved one’s) body. Trying to remove the barbed creature can be painful and messy. What’s worse, the biting part of the tick can remain attached as you attempt to pull it out.

That’s what can happen when you use the most commonly recommended method of tick removal – using tweezers to pull the tick out of the body.

kidsingarden-ulEarlier this year I learned of a different method of tick removal, and I’ve used it many times this year to remove ticks from myself, my family and my clients.

It’s what’s called the “Wet Q-tip Method,” because it involves rotating a Q-tip around and around the tick until it backs out all by itself.

The advantage of this method is that you don’t risk leaving the head and mouthparts in the body. This means there is less likelihood of inflammation due to the release of tick saliva into the body. It is clean, painless, and doesn’t leave a scab. Definitely superior to an all-out tug-of-war with tweezers!

Here’s the details for the Q-Tip Tick Removal Method:

  1. Get a Q-Tip, and moisten it with some oil. My favorite is clove essential oil, because this is repellant to the tick, it is anti-tick-borne-infection, and it’s what I rub into tick bites after removing the tick anyway. But any oil such as olive, coconut, or soap will do.
  2. Lyme-deer-tick-on-q-tip-mcWith your oily Q-tip, begin to rub in a circle around and around the tick, agitating it, making it rotate with the Q-tip until it backs out.
  3. Save the tick for testing, or flush it down the toilet, and toss your Q-tip into the garbage.

That’s it!

Check out this video at Lyme Channel on You Tube for a great visual demonstration of this technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVzr8noqvsE

Using this technique, tick removal is less traumatic, cleaner and safer. So keep those Q-tips handy (in your car, your medicine cabinet, your first aid kit) so you have it ready when you need it!

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Showing 4 comments
  • Nancy L. Seibel
    Reply

    Hillary a couple of years ago, without knowing of the technique it occurred to me to do this same thing using tea tree oil to get a tick out of my dog’s “divit” – he’s a pug/Boston terrier mix. To my great surprise the tick just fell out. So I of course thought tea tree oil was the magic. Good to know clove oil might be a better choice and that in a pinch any oil will work.

  • Jennifer
    Reply

    I love the tick lasso found here http://trixticklasso.com/ it gets e en the tiniest nymph out with not grasping squeezing etc…. I’m grateful to know you like clove oil for bites! I hope I do t ever need this info but in certainly glad to have it!

  • Gloria Flynn
    Reply

    I’ve read that applying oil to the tick can stress it and cause it to release pathogens…. shouldn’t we just use a wet q-tip and apply oils to the bite once the tick is released? I have also used a drawing salve to a bite with good effect; the swelling around the area subsided within a few days. Thank you for sharing!

  • Sherri
    Reply

    This did not work for us at all. I may be using a wrong technique, or something, but it looked like what the video shows. Our dog was getting agitated and angry and after several tries of two or three minutes each, we gave up and used tweezers. And it does look like that didn’t remove all the mouth parts so we treated the bite with alcohol and will keep an eye on the spot over the next several days.

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