Prompt removal of an attached tick can prevent the transmission of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick-borne diseases. However, removal can be difficult. The strong jaws of a tick allow it to grasp tightly to skin, and sometimes burrow slightly into the skin. Ticks in the nymph stage tend to be more deeply attached than adults. Tweezers are often used, but it can be difficult to grasp the tick correctly while using tweezers. A tick removal tool is a quick and safe way to remove ticks.
Tick removal tools use two different designs to remove ticks. The first design involves a tool designed to grasp the mouthparts of a tick and gently pull away from the skin. This is similar to tweezers. The second design uses a special V slot that is too small for the main body of the tick to pass through, and is inserted around the mouthparts. Both of these strategies remove ticks without increasing the risk of disease, either by squeezing the main body of the tick or forcing the tick deeper into the skin.
It is not uncommon for deeply imbedded ticks to tear off a small patch of skin or to leave behind mouthparts during removal. In these cases, use tweezers to remove any leftover mouthparts, and wash the area with soap and water. There are many folk remedies regarding tick removal, including burning matches, gasoline, and petroleum. However, these methods are ineffective, and in some cases dangerous.