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Removing a tick after a bite

In case you are bitten, you must remove the tick as soon as possible.

To remove a tick attached to your skin, use a tick remover or tweezers. Avoid using your fingers or fingernails.

Steps for removing a tick

  1. Grasp the tick with tweezers as close as possible to the skin. Avoid pressing on the insect’s abdomen. It increases the risk of transmitting the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.

  2. Pull the tick gently, but firmly and continuously, without turning it or crushing it, to allow the entire tick to be removed without breaking it. If the tick’s head stays implanted in the skin, you may then be able to remove it delicately with tweezers. If you are using a tick remover, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you cannot remove the head, leave it in place and let the skin heal. 

  3. Place the tick removed from the skin in a container that closes tightly, such as an empty pill container. Mark part of the body that was bitten and the date the tick was removed and store it in the refrigerator. The tick could be useful if you need to see a doctor.

  4. After removing the tick, clean your skin with soap and water, and wash your hands thoroughly.

Recommendations after removing the tick

Write down the date and place you were at when you were bitten. Also note what part of your body you were bitten on. This information could be useful if you need to see a health professional.

If you have one or more Lyme disease symptoms in the days, weeks or months following the bite, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a doctor. Give the details of the bite as you noted them. If you go see a doctor, bring the tick with you in a closed container. The doctor may decide to have it tested. This information will be used to track the spread of ticks in Québec.

If you have been bitten by a tick in some sectors of the Estrie, Montérégie, Outaouais, Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec regions or elsewhere in Canada or United States:

  • Once you have removed the tick, call Info-Santé 811. A nurse will advise you whether or not you should see a health professional. Depending on evaluation of the situation, a preventive antibiotic could be prescribed.
  • If you see a health professional, bring the tick with you.

Removing a tick from an animal and recommendations

To obtain information and recommendations regarding ticks on your pets, consult the page Lyme disease in animals.

Last update: June 6, 2024


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