If a tick bites you:
- Don’t squeeze, twist or squash it. Don’t burn it with a match or cover it with Vaseline.
- Use fine-point tweezers or a special tick-removing tool. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. If you don’t have tweezers, protect your fingers with a tissue.
- Pull the tick straight out with steady, even pressure. Click here to view a tick’s mouth and why it is so important to pull out the tick correctly.
- Disinfect the bite area and wash your hands.
- Save the tick for testing (alive if possible) in a small bottle or plastic bag with a green leaf or damp piece of tissue.
- Label it with your name, date, site of bite and how long tick was attached.
If you’ve been bitten, you can send the tick to test and determine if the tick is carrying the pathogens that can lead to tick-borne illness to the following organizations:
- Igenex: https://igenex.com/product/tick-test/
- Tick Report: https://www.tickreport.com/
Whether or not you find a tick, stay alert for symptoms of tick-borne illness. A bull’s-eye rash indicates Lyme disease, though not everybody with Lyme gets one. You might have a different rash or none at all. You may develop flu-like symptoms—fever, headache, nausea—or joint pain or dizziness. Consult a physician as needed.