The Best Way To Remove A Tick
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.
Earlier 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:
- 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.
- With 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.
- Save the tick for testing, or flush it down the toilet, and toss your Q-tip into the garbage.
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!