If You Are Bitten

You will not feel the bite of a deer tick because it is so small. However, if you conduct a careful inspection during and after outdoor activities, there is a good chance you will escape infection, because the tick must be attached from 12 to 24 hours in order to transmit the disease organism. There is no need for panic.

If you find a tick attached to you, your child, or your pet, there is a right way and a wrong way to remove it. The object is to remove the tick slowly and gently to prevent it from regurgitating its stomach contents into the bloodstream and risking infection.

Do the following:

Use blunt tweezers (not your bare fingers) to grasp the tick directly behind the head.

Pull slowly and steadily so the tick has time to disengage its mouthparts. A slight twisting motion may help. Once the tick has been removed, cleanse the area with rubbing alcohol.

Do not try to loosen the tick with a hot match, cover it with petroleum jelly, or rub it with alcohol.

Monitor the bite area and tell your doctor about any rash or illness that follows the bite.

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