1. Use fine-tipped tweezers or notched tick extractor, and protect your fingers with a tissue, paper towel, or latex gloves (see figure). You should avoid removing ticks with bare hands.
2. Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; this may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. (If this happens, remove mouthparts with tweezers. Consult your health care provider if illness occurs.)
3. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water. Do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain infectious organisms. Skin accidentally exposed to tick fluids can be disinfected with iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol, or water containing detergents.
4. Do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain infectious organisms. Skin accidentally exposed to tick fluids can be disinfected with iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol, or water containing detergents.
5. Save the tick for identification in case you become ill. This may help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Place the tick in a sealable plastic bag and put it in your freezer. Write the date of the bite on a piece of paper with a pencil and place it in the bag.
Note: Folklore remedies such as petroleum jelly or hot matches do little to encourage a tick to detach from skin. In fact, they may make matters worse by irritating the tick and stimulating it to release additional saliva, increasing the chances of transmitting the pathogen. These methods of tick removal should be avoided. In addition, a number of tick removal devices have been marketed, but none are better than a plain set of fine tipped tweezers.
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)