Found a tick? Do not panic.

DO NOT yank the tick out. If you yank it out, the tick’s mouth could remain and so could the Bb bacteria, which causes Lyme disease.

How to remove a tickUse pointy tweezers. Slide the tweezers between your skin and the tick’s mouth. Gently pull the tick straight up and away from your skin. It may take two or three tries.

If you don’t have tweezers use your fingers, but take the same approach. Protect your fingers with a tissue or plastic bag and wash them afterwards.

DO NOT squish the tick. Take the time to remove it carefully. If you squish the tick, the bacteria may enter your skin.

DO NOT use a match or liquid to smother the tick. This approach will not necessarily remove the tick and may prevent you from getting it tested.

Save the tick.

Ticks can be tested dead or alive. Place the tick in a plastic bag or container (with a wet tissue if it’s alive). Label it with the date of the bite and the location of where you think you picked up the tick.

You may choose to have the tick tested, especially if you develop Lyme symptoms. You can also store the tick in the freezer if you do not want to test it right away.

Wash your hands and the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.

Again, don’t panic.  Remember, you have been able to save the tick and you can get it tested. (See tick testing for more information about how.) If you find a live tick still crawling around on your body, it is less likely to have bitten you.

Watch for symptoms.

Still, stay alert, watch your body for Lyme disease symptoms and talk to your doctor if you think you may have been infected.

Download our printable PDF document of Lyme Symptoms for your reference—provided in English and Spanish.