Correct Tick Removal
How a tick is removed is extremely important. Incorrect removal can result in:
- The tick's mouth parts being left behind in the skin.
- Compression of the tick's abdomen.
- Puncture of the tick's body.
- Injury and stress to the tick.
These in turn can result in localised infection from foreign bodies and the introduction of infective organisms from the tick's stomach contents and saliva.
Leaving behind the tick's mouth parts can result in septic abscesses which, in severe cases, can lead to septicaemia.
Compressing the tick's abdomen can cause its stomach contents to be squeezed back into the blood stream of its host.
Puncturing the body of the tick can spill its stomach contents, which may contain infective organisms.
Causing injury or stress to the tick can result in it regurgitating the blood meal that it has ingested. This may contain infective organisms and result in the host contracting a serious infection/s.
Stress to the tick can result from applying solutions such as alcohol, aftershave, oils / butter, paraffin or petroleum jelly. It can also result from applying a freezing agent or burning the tick with a cigarette, lighter, or match head.
These methods might be successful in getting a tick to release its grip,
but they can also significantly increase the chances of disease transmission.
There are only two safe ways to remove an attached tick:
The best way to avoid contracting a tick-borne disease is to avoid tick attachment in the first place. For simple preventative measures, see our Top Ten Tips, and to keep pets safe, see our Tick Prevention page.