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Removing a Tick

image of tick being removed from skinIf you locate a tick on your body, remove it quickly and properly to help prevent infection. Infected ticks are most likely to transmit Lyme disease bacteria if they are attached to a person for more than 24 hours.

Here's how to remove a tick (If you are using a tick-removal product like a 'tick key' or 'tick twister,' be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions):

•  Using finely-tipped tweezers, carefully grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firm. Afterwards, thoroughly clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.

DO NOT: try to burn off the tick. Squeezing the tick is not advisable either, as it can cause the Lyme disease agent to accidentally be released into your body.

Additional Resource - How to Remove a Tick - Video (38 seconds)

Tick Testing

Has a tick bitten or attached itself to you? There are two ways to determine if it’s a blacklegged variety that may cause Lyme disease:

1. Submit the tick to the Health Unit for testing. Ensure the tick is in a screw-top bottle, and record the date the tick bit you. We test the tick for surveillance purposes (not medical reasons). NOTE: We no longer test ticks that have been found in the area south of Highway 401 from Grafton east (through Cramahe and Brighton) to the Northumberland-Hastings counties boundary line. This is because we already know blacklegged ticks are present here.

2. Use the eTick website to submit a photo of the tick you have encountered. Within 48 hours, you will be notified if it is a blacklegged tick – the type that may spread Lyme Disease. The result is not meant to provide medical advice, but can help determine if it’s worth following up with your health care provider for more information.

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