Ticks like to crawl up and be in warm places like armpits or below the waist. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body.
If you find a tick on your body, your children, or your pets it is important to remove it immediately. To properly remove an attached tick, using a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal scoop, follow the tick removal steps at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth- parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
- You can submit a tick specimen, for identification, to the University of New Hampshire. Keep in a sealed container with blade of grass or submerse in alcohol. See Identify for tick testing resources.
- If you have had a tick attached to you or your child, remove it and save it and see a healthcare professional. If the health care provider identifies it as a blacklegged tick, you will likely be put on antibiotics immediately. This follows the new 2019 Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease.