Removing a tick from a person, dog or cat

Removing a tick from a person as soon as you can is very important. This will help reduce the chance of catching Lyme disease, a serious illness which left untreated can be difficult to cure. Specialist tools are key to ensure that all parts of the creature are removed. We use an O’Tom Tick Twister (Amazon) which can be used on a person, dog or cat.

How to remove a tick from a human (adult or child)

Removing a tick - specialist tick removal tools
  1. Ticks need to be removed in a particular way to ensure that all parts are removed and to stop it releasing additional saliva or regurgitating its stomach contents into your bite wound.
  2. Remove the tick ASAP – the longer it stays embedded in your body, the greater risk there is that it will transmit bacteria which could cause serious debilitating diseases such as Lyme disease.
  3. Remove all parts of the tick’s body using a special tick remover tool.  Tick removers are cheap and widely available. We use the O’Tom Tick Twister (Amazon) which comes as a pack of two different size tools and the Lifesystems Tick Remover Card which also has two different-sized tools plus a magnifying glass. The Trix Tick Lasso is good for pets or hairy parts of the body (such as the groin) as it won’t trap hairs.
  4. Ticks can vary in size from a poppy seed or speck of dirt to a small spider so it’s useful to have these two tools for different size ticks. The tools are suitable for use on people and animals and have easy-to-follow instructions. They are small and light so can easily be carried in a rucksack or pocket and the credit card can be put in your wallet. I never go out for a walk without them.

Picture of a tick

Picture of a tick
Photo: Lyme Disease Action

Video: removing a tick

The video below shows how to use the O’Tom Tick Twister (Amazon) but read the instructions too just to be on the safe side. You can support the charity, Lyme Disease Action, by buying these and insect repellent through their shop.

Removing a tick with tweezers

Although you can use fine-tipped tweezers, it’s better to use a specialist tick removing tool if you can. Tweezers could squeeze the tick which may make it regurgitate its stomach contents into the bite passing on bacteria if it’s infected.

Removing of ticks from dogs and cats

To remove ticks from dogs and cats, the safest and most efficient way is to use a specially-designed tick tool like the O’Tom Tick Twister (Amazon) which can be used on both people and animals.

After you’ve removed a tick

  1.  Clean the tool with antiseptic and also the bite site.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  3. Put the tick in a container in case a doctor asks for evidence that you have been bitten (label it with the date and location).
  4. Public Health England runs a Tick Surveillance Scheme (TSS) across the UK and asks you to post any ticks you find to them.
  5. Take precautions to stop being bitten by ticks in the future. Read: What is Lyme disease & how to avoid tick bites in humans

Are you a business owner in the Scottish Highlands and Islands? Display a free poster.

If you own a business or let out a holiday property in the Highland and Islands of Scotland, help spread awareness about the dangers of ticks and how to remove them. Display this poster kindly provided free of charge by Lyme Disease Action on your noticeboard or in your property info folder.

Further info

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