In case you are bitten, you must remove the tick as soon as possible.
To remove a tick attached to your skin, use fine forceps like tweezers. Avoid using your fingers or fingernails, because you could crush the tick and favour transmission of the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.
Steps for removing a tick
Grasp the tick with tweezers as close as possible to the skin. Avoid pressing on the insect’s abdomen since that increases the risk of transmitting the infection.
Pull the tick gently, but firmly and continuously, without turning it or crushing it, so that you remove the entire tick 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 cannot remove the head, leave it in place and let the skin heal.
Place the tick removed from the skin in a container that closes tightly, such as an empty pill container. Mark the location of the bite and the date of removal of the tick on the container and store it in the fridge. The tick could be useful if you go see a doctor.
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 bitten. Also note what part of your body you were bitten on. This information could be useful if you go see a doctor.
If you have one or more Lyme disease symptoms 3 to 30 days after being bitten, 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 sealed container. The doctor may decide to have it analysed.
If you have been bitten by a tick in particular areas of Estrie or Montérégie region:
- Once you have removed the tick, call Info-Santé 811. A nurse will advise you whether or not you should see a doctor. Depending on evaluation of the situation, a preventive antibiotic could be prescribed.
- If you see a doctor, 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 Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation website.
Last update: December 11, 2017