Wood Tick Bite

Ticks are insects that attach themselves to the skin. Sometimes, ticks carry diseases that can make a person very ill. The most common places for ticks to attach themselves are the scalp, neck, armpits, waist, and groin. Ticks must be removed as soon as possible to help prevent diseases.


  • Put on latex gloves before trying to remove a tick.

  • Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.

  • Pull gently until the tick lets go. Pull the tick off in one motion. Do not twist the tick or jerk it suddenly. This may break off the tick's head or mouth parts.

  • Do not crush the tick's body. This could transfer diseased fluids from the tick into your body.

  • After the tick is removed, wash the bite area and your hands with soap and water.

  • Apply a small amount of anti-infection cream or ointment to the bite site.

  • Wash any tools that were used.

  • Save the tick in a jar or plastic bag to bring to the doctor if necessary.

  • Do not apply a hot match, petroleum jelly, or fingernail polish to the tick. This may increase the chances of disease from the tick bite.

You might need a tetanus shot now if:

  • You cannot remember when your last tetanus shot was.

  • You have never had a tetanus shot.

  • Your bite site was dirty.


  • You cannot remove a tick or part of the tick is left in the skin.

  • You have redness and puffiness (swelling) in the area of the tick bite.

  • You have tender, puffy lymph glands.

  • You have watery poop (diarrhea).

  • You lose weight.

  • You have a cough.

  • You are more tired than normal.

  • You have muscle, joint, or bone pain.

  • You have belly (abdominal) pain.

  • You have a headache.

  • You have a rash.

  • You have a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • You have trouble walking or moving your legs.

  • You lose feeling (numbness) in your legs.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • You become confused.

  • You throw up (vomit) many times.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.