How to Tick Off Ticks

Maureen Breese, NP

As a new resident of "tick country" in northern California, I was recently introduced to a great way to remove ticks—both those that are newly attached and those that have been there for a day or two. Rub with one finger and moderate pressure around the tick, close enough to actually be touching it (local lore says to go counterclockwise). After 2 to 4 minutes, the tick will back completely out, head and all. This has worked on both western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) and dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis).