How to remove a grass tick

Written by b.t. alo
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How to remove a grass tick
Tweezers are essential tick-removal tools. (tweezers image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Grass ticks are actually the larval stage of larger ticks, and often go undetected for days due to their small size. Grass ticks are a very common problem in countries like Australia and throughout the African continent, but are found in lesser numbers in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tweezers
  • Tea tree oil/antiseptic liquid
  • Cotton ball
  • Magnifying glass
  • 1 cup bicarbonate of soda (optional)
  • Bathtub (optional)

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  1. 1

    If a severe infestation of grass ticks is evident, take a bath in warm water and add the bicarbonate of soda. Sit in the bath for at least 30 minutes to soften the tick bite areas.

  2. 2

    Put the tweezer's points as close to the skin as possible. Use the magnifying glass to make sure that the tweezer's points are holding the head of the tick, and not just the body. There should be no tick visible between the skin and the tweezer's points if the head is being held correctly.

  3. 3

    Pull the tweezers in a steady, firm motion backwards. Do not jerk the tweezers suddenly back, as this can cause the head to dislodge from the body.

  4. 4

    Put some tea tree oil or antiseptic liquid on the cotton ball and place it on the tick bite immediately to disinfect and sterilise the bite.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not rub tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol or methylated spirits onto the tick while it is still in the skin---while this will eventually kill the tick, it will cause the tick to disgorge toxins into the bite before it dies. The only solutions to rub on the skin to kill the tick if you can't take it out with tweezers are skin-approved insecticides or anti-scabies cream.

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