- Use fine-point tweezers to grasp the tick at the place of attachment, as close to the skin as possible.
- Gently pull the tick straight out.
- Place tick in a small container or baggie labeled with the victim's name, address, date and estimated hours attached. You need to save the tick so that you can take it to the doctor to see if it carries Lyme disease or any other tick-borne illness. Note the date too. Below is a list of labs that can test ticks to see if they carry disease.
- Wash your hands, disinfect the tweezers and the bite site with an alcohol pad or similar disinfectant.
- Call a medical practitioner to determine if treatment is warranted. If the tick has noticeable engorgement, it was probably attached long enough to transmit disease. Some physicians believe that even during a brief attachment the tick's saliva may transmit bacteria. Not all ticks are infected with disease-causing pathogens, but increasingly many are.
Here is a list of labs that can test any tick you remove and save:*
795 San Antonio Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: 800-832-3200 Fax: 650-424-1196
Middlebrook Tech Park
12321 Middle Brook Road, Suite 120
Germantown, MD 20874
Phone: 301-916-0173 Fax: 301-916-0175 Toll Free: 877-CLONGEN (256-6436)
Northeast Infectious Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
Applied DNA Sciences
East Stroudsburg University
314 Independence Road, Suite 114
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
New Jersey Laboratories
1110 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
UMass Extension Tick Assessment
Agricultural Engineering Building, 250 Natural Resources Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
*TBDA cannot endorse any lab