How to remove ticks
Why are ticks so hard to remove?
How quickly must ticks be removed?
What happens if I leave the head in?
Order tick forceps
Being careful not to squash the tick, grasp it by the head with fine-tipped curved forceps and slowly pull straight out.
In many areas of the country the tick is likely to be carrying Lyme disease or other pathogens that can harm humans. Don't squash the tick. The spirochete that causes Lyme disease hibernates in the tick's intestine, sometimes for years, waiting for a signal that a new host is available. This signal, an influx of fresh blood, triggers an enormous increase in the spirochete population. After filling the intestine, spirochetes move to the salivary glands and enter the their new host along with the anticoagulants and anesthetics produced by the tick. Squashing the tick spreads spirochetes everywhere.
Once that tick is firmly fastened in place, it takes time for the tick to detach itself and depart. No matter how badly the tick may wish to leave quickly, it simply can't. A burning cigarette may kill the tick but won't make it fall off. Ticks can live without air for a long time, so attempts to smother it allow disease transmission to continue for several hours. Anything that upsets or harms the tick without removing it can theoretically cause the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents back into the host, increasing the likelihood of disease transmission.
Ticks aren't threaded. Your best chance of removing the head is pulling straight out with steady traction. Twisting invariably leaves the head behind. Because people who twist ticks don't feel a snap when head breaks off, they think it's been removed.