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> Health - Summer - How to Remove Tick

Ticks and Lyme Disease

How To Remove a Tick

Do a thorough body check for ticks after being outdoors

To remove a tick:

  • Using tweezers, grasp tick near the mouth parts, as close to skin as possible.
  • Pull tick in a steady, upward motion away from skin.
  • DO NOT use kerosene, matches, or petroleum jelly to remove tick.
  • Disinfect site with soap and water, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Record date and location of tick bite. If rash or flu-like symptoms appear contact your health care provider immediately.

Remove ticks as soon as possible to reduce your risk of getting infected with Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses.

Questions? Call TCHD at 607-274-6604

VIDEO: How to remove a tick from your body (NYSDOH)


I removed a tick from my body, should I have the tick tested?

People who have remove a tick often wonder if they should have it tested. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the testing of individual ticks is not useful because:

  • The testing of ticks for the presence of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease has no role in the clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease.
  • If the test shows the tick contained disease-causing organisms, that does not necessarily mean that you have been infected.
  • If someone has been infected by a tick bite, symptoms may begin to occur even before the results of tick testing are available. People should not to wait for tick testing results before seeking medical advice should any symptoms develop.
  • Negative results can lead to false assurance. For example, you may have been unknowingly bitten by a different tick that was infected.
  • Tests performed on the ticks are not perfect and they do not test for all infections ticks may be carrying. Therefore, even with a negative result, people should still monitor themselves for the appearance of rash, fever or other unusual symptoms and immediately seek the advice of a health care provider should any symptoms occur.
  • A positive test on a tick is not an automatic indication that treatment is needed. A positive test indicates that the tick was infected but not that the tick was successful in spreading the infection to the person bitten. The longer a tick is attached to you, the greater the chance that it will spread infection.

Found a tick? Contact your health care provider to discuss how best to proceed.

Download this information (PDF, 38KB)



Take precautions to help avoid ticks

Certain species of ticks — most notably the deer tick — carry Lyme Disease. The best precaution one can take against getting Lyme Disease is to limit exposure to ticks. Follow these steps when hiking or working in areas where ticks are most commonly found, such as woods and high grass:

  • Wear light colored clothing to spot ticks easier and brush off.
  • Tuck pants into socks and wear long sleeved tucked in shirts to prevent ticks from reaching the skin. Wear closed toed shoes.
  • Consider using insect repellent. Apply according to directions and use only the amount necessary. Keep out of reach of children and do not allow children to apply repellents.
  • Carefully check for ticks at the end of a day of outdoor activity. Also check children and pets and remove ticks promptly.
  • Stay on cleared, well traveled trails.
  • Keep lawns mowed and hedges trimmed. Clear brush and tall grass around the house. Clear leaf litter and the remains of perennials out of the garden in the fall.
  • Keep the ground under bird feeders clean so as not to attract small animals.
  • Locate the children’s swing sets and other play equipment in sunny, dry areas away from woods.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible if symptoms of Lyme Disease occur. 

Get facts about Lyme Disease

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