Removing ticks using vegetable oil

Why is it better to ask for help?

If possible, go to the doctor as soon as you see a tick attached to your body. The doctor will not only remove the parasite and treat the skin, but will also immediately send it for analysis.

Tatyana Loshkareva

You can get help at the nearest emergency room. Go there immediately. If you don’t know where it is or how to get there, dial the ambulance number - 103, they will give you the address.

Keep in mind that the likelihood of contracting tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis depends on the duration of contact with the parasite. Therefore, you need to remove it very quickly!

If you cannot see a doctor, remove the bloodsucker yourself.

Why does the parasite hold on so tightly?

Thanks to the special structure of the oral apparatus, the tick is very firmly attached to the wound. On the head of the parasite, called the gnathosoma, there are pedipalps, chelicerae hidden in cases, and a proboscis called the hypostome. It is an elongated plate covered with rows of teeth, directed with their sharp edges towards the base of the proboscis.

During the bite, the bloodsucker cuts the skin with chelicerae, while at the same time introducing a proboscis into the wound, which also takes part in cutting the skin. Thus, inside the wound there is a hypostome, the teeth of which serve as harpoons, and chelicerae, the spines on the covers of which serve as an additional fastening.

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The tick saliva, which continuously enters the wound, has an anesthetic effect, which is why the victim does not experience pain and does not notice the parasite bite. Therefore, it is important to conduct a careful examination of the entire body after walks in nature, remembering that bloodsuckers love secluded places behind the ears, in the armpits, in the groin area and in the folds of the skin.

Places of most frequent tick bites.

In addition, a case of saliva is formed around the hypostome, which, spreading in the lower layers of the skin, hardens after some time. The result is a structure that serves as a strong anchor - after all, its base is wider than the hole in the skin. But not all types of parasites have this ability: for example, the most common taiga and dog ticks in Russia do not have this ability.

It is also useful to read: How a tick bites: details about the process when it digs into the skin

Thus, the entire structure of the tick’s oral apparatus is aimed at maximum protection against attempts to tear the arachnid away from the victim’s body, and the longer the parasite feeds, the more firmly it attaches itself to the wound.

What to prepare before removing a tick

To safely get rid of the parasite, you will need:

  • Latex or rubber gloves or a regular plastic bag. You need to protect your skin in case you accidentally crush a tick or its saliva gets on you. Through the slightest wound you can get an infection.
  • Disinfectant and cotton wool to treat the wound. Alcohol, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide or iodine solution are suitable.
  • Tweezers with fine tips, strong thread or a twister. The latter is very convenient to use, but more difficult to find. It is sold mainly in regular and veterinary pharmacies and in online stores. You can easily buy tweezers or threads in household chemical stores and supermarkets. Be sure to pay attention to the tips of the tweezers. They should be thin so as not to crush the tick. Flat and wide ends will not work.
  • A jar with a tight lid and a little more cotton wool moistened with water. This is necessary to transport the parasite to the laboratory.
  • Warm water and soap. Or at least wet wipes to wipe your hands.

Twister. Photo: Beru

Tweezers with thin tips. Photo: Beru

What to buy

  • Tweezers with fine tips, 229 rubles →
  • HELP pliers twister, 131 rubles →
  • RolfСlub ticker, 139 rubles →

Removing a tick using a thread

Alas, the ticker can easily get lost, or it may simply not be at hand at the right time. Therefore, you need to know that a tick can be pulled out with a simple thread. This is a very easy operation that will take less than a minute.

In order to get the parasite, any thread will do, even one torn from the edge of clothing, but you need to remember that a thick thread will be more difficult to handle and you can accidentally crush the bloodsucker with it. The length of the thread should be such that after it is folded in half, there is enough space for the fingers. 10-20 cm is the optimal size.

A simple knot is tied in the middle of the thread, but not fully tightened. The resulting loop, like a lasso, is thrown over the tick. You should try to place it on the parasite’s head as close as possible to the site of the bite. Or you can simply draw a thread around the bloodsucker's head and then tie it.

The thread loop must be placed at the junction of the tick's head and its body.

After this, the knot is tightened and the free ends of the thread are folded together. Now you need to twist them into a tourniquet with your fingers. When the ends of the thread are tightly twisted together, they will begin to turn the tick out. You can pull the thread lightly, but this is usually not necessary, since the parasite easily falls out on its own. Just two or three turns are enough – and the tick is removed!

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It doesn’t matter at all which way you turn the ticker or the thread. The tick's mouthparts are symmetrical and have no threads. And the popular advice to twist the parasite clockwise is due to the fact that it is simply more convenient to do it this way with your right hand.

It is also useful to read: Dangerous consequences of a tick bite

What not to do

Igor Spirin talks about this.

Igor Spirin

Many folk remedies are actually ineffective and even dangerous. It is forbidden:

  • Handle the parasite with your bare hands when removing it from a person or animal. You need to wear gloves or at least a plastic bag.
  • Pour oil, gasoline, glue, Vaseline, alcohol, toothpaste, or nail polish onto the tick to suffocate it. While you wait for the parasite to start suffocating and crawl out, a lot of time will pass. And due to lack of air, he can drool into the wound. This will increase Tick bites: What are ticks and how can they be removed? risk of infection.
  • Set fire to the tick. This method is just as useless as the previous one. The parasite will not come out, you will simply set it on fire and burn yourself.
  • Press on the tick when it is on the skin. This way you will only squeeze the saliva out of it and it will go into the blood.

What to do with a tick

Do not throw it away after removing it. Place the parasite in a jar with wet cotton wool and close the lid tightly. You can store the tick in the refrigerator, but no more than 1-2 days, otherwise the bloodsucker will simply die.

Take the bloodsucker to any clinic where they do a tick test. You can view the nearest laboratories and seroprophylaxis points on the website. The analysis is paid, but in public clinics it is usually cheaper than in private ones.

This way you will know whether the tick is infected or not. The result will be known in 1–4 days; ask the laboratory directly for the exact time. If the parasite is contagious, you can quickly begin treatment.

Olga Polyakova

The tick must be sent for analysis within two days. The parasite must be alive. Only in this case can the infection be detected.

If it is not possible to check, burn the parasite. And carefully monitor the condition of the bitten person so as not to miss the symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis or borreliosis.

When you need to see a doctor urgently

It would be good immediately after you see a tick attached to your body. If you have not done this, then in the following cases you must go to the hospital.

  • Within 3–14 days, a rash appeared near the bite. This may be a sign of tick-borne borreliosis. Even if the stains have gone away over time, you are still at risk.
  • Flu-like symptoms appeared. Usually these are chills, fever, weakness, muscle and joint pain, and headache. They may indicate tick-borne borreliosis or encephalitis.
  • The bite turned red and inflamed.

If there are cases of tick-borne encephalitis in your area, do not wait for the results of a tick test for infection. Immediately contact a seroprophylaxis center (this is a method of preventing infectious diseases) or an infectious disease doctor. It will be necessary to carry out emergency prevention on the first day or at least for three days.

Tatyana Loshkareva

You can find out about outbreaks of tick-borne encephalitis and the epidemiological situation in general on the website of Rospotrebnadzor in your region. Information is in the “Sanitary and epidemiological situation” section.

How to prevent a tick bite

When going on a hike or just a walk in the forest, take precautions and no one will bite you.

  • Treat clothing, shoes, tents, bags and other equipment with a spray containing 0.5% permethrin. This substance is deadly for ticks. Follow the instructions carefully.
  • Apply a repellent containing one of these active ingredients to your body: picardin, diethyltoluamide, oil of lemon eucalyptus. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
  • Avoid places where ticks are most likely to hang out - tall grass and bushes.
  • Wear thick clothing with long sleeves. Ankles, waist and wrists should be covered to prevent ticks from crawling into the gap between the body and clothing.
  • Inspect your companions' and yours' clothing every couple of hours. If you find a tick, remove it, or better yet, burn it.
  • Upon returning home, carefully check all your belongings again. Then dry them in the clothes dryer for 10 minutes or simply hang them to air naturally.
  • Also inspect and dry tents, bags, backpacks, and shoes, if possible.
  • Take a shower as quickly as possible. If the tick is on the body, but has not yet attached itself, water will wash away the parasite.

How to remove a tick

If a person is bitten by a tick, it should be removed quickly, because The longer he is in contact with a person, the higher the risk of contracting dangerous infectious pathologies. It is necessary to remove the parasite from any place on the body, strictly following the technique to prevent the body from being torn off from the head. The parasite must be twisted out and not torn off, since it is deeply and tightly sucked to the skin with the help of a proboscis with processes that hold it.

You can remove a tick at home with your hands, using a thread, tweezers, a syringe or special devices (Tick Twister, Anti-Tick, Nippes), which are available in pharmacies. Such tools resemble a hook or tweezers, but have a special modified shape to make it easier to remove the parasite. It is recommended to take these devices with you when going outdoors.

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One of the most popular tick removal tools, Nippes, helps to grab the insect as tightly as possible and close to the skin, which prevents it from tearing. This is an important advantage, since the remaining part of the skin is a source of pathogens that the parasite carries. The disadvantage of using tweezers is the risk of skin damage if used incorrectly.

Nippes should be used as follows: grab the arthropod between the teeth of the tool, turn it counterclockwise, slightly pulling it towards you. After removing the parasite, treat the suction area with iodine or alcohol. For using regular tweezers, there are the following recommendations:

  1. Using tweezers, grab the insect's head at the very base, remove it with rotational movements, the parasite should twist out without effort.
  2. It is better to place the instrument parallel to the skin.
  3. After removal, lubricate the skin with an antiseptic.


The disadvantage of removing the parasite by hand is the high probability of crushing the insect and tearing its body, which can provoke infection with encephalitis, so this method is considered the most undesirable. The advantage of removing an insect by hand is that there is no need to use special or improvised tools. You should remove the parasite with your fingers like this:

  1. Treat your hands and skin around the bite with an antiseptic.
  2. It is recommended to wear disposable gloves or wrap your hands with gauze or a bandage.
  3. Grasp the tick at the junction of the body and the head as close to the skin as possible.
  4. Using a few counterclockwise rotations, slowly remove the insect.
  5. Treat the affected area with an antiseptic; it is recommended to place the insect in a plastic container and submit it to a laboratory for examination. After the procedure, you should wash your hands with soap.


One of the easiest methods for removing a tick at home is to extract it with a thread. Among the advantages are its availability and speed. A significant disadvantage of thread removal is the high risk of incomplete extraction of the parasite. The sequence of actions during the procedure is as follows:

  1. Lightly press your fingers onto the skin near the attached insect.
  2. Take a thread (preferably synthetic, because it is stronger) 20-30 cm long, make a small loop in the middle.
  3. Place the middle of the loop on the skin so that the parasite gets into it.
  4. Tighten the loop tightly into a knot, connect both ends of the thread into one and twist it counterclockwise with your fingers.
  5. Once the thread is tightly twisted, pull it towards you.
  6. Treat the skin with iodine or alcohol.
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Using oil

Removing ticks from a person using oil involves cutting off the access of oxygen to the insect, which forces it to detach itself. The advantage of the method is that there is no risk of damage to the bite site or the body of the parasite, but the disadvantage is that it is often ineffective. Experts believe that due to the lack of oxygen, the insect begins to inject large amounts of saliva, which may contain infection, increasing the risk of infection. Removing a tick using oil should be done as follows:

  1. Fill the bite area with sunflower oil or any other vegetable oil. Sometimes it is acceptable to use a rich cream.
  2. Once the tick detaches from the skin, destroy it.
  3. Treat the wound with alcohol or antiseptic.

Syringe removal

The parasite can be removed using a disposable syringe without a needle. The advantage of this method is its simplicity, but the disadvantage is the high probability of tearing off the head of the tick and its incomplete removal from the skin. Removing the parasite using a syringe should be done as follows:

  1. Treat the area around the attached insect with alcohol, cologne or antiseptic.
  2. Remove the syringe from its packaging and slide its plunger down.
  3. Press the syringe to the surface of the skin so that the parasite is completely hidden in the “nose”.
  4. Slowly pull the plunger up.
  5. After the insect separates from the skin, wipe the wound with an antiseptic again.
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