Myths About Removing Ticks: Busted!

What do you do when faced with a tick that’s attached itself to one of your beloved pets? Ticks spread disease and they are easily preventable. But, if your prevention plan has not been put into effect and you have to pry the little sucker (literally) out of your beagle’s backside, I’m here to help.

There’s a whole library full of bad, dangerous and silly misinformation about tick removal out there on the Internet and I want to help dispel some of it. You could spend your whole life debunking the slew of old wives’ tales about tick removal and only barely scratch the surface. Some of the kooky things that people would have you do to remove a tick include:


  • Cover it with a cotton ball soaked in liquid soap (you will have a live tick that’s much cleaner)
  • Douse it in kerosene (sure, it’ll get rid of the tick, but also your dog, your eyebrows, your house…)
  • Cover it with Vaseline to drown it (you’ll have a live tick with satiny smooth skin)
  • Buy it a one-way plane ticket to Weehawken, New Jersey (ticks are deadly afraid of airports – they won’t even make it through security)
  • Touch a recently blown-out match to the tick (especially dangerous if you have performed the second one on the list)

Needless to say these things are just nuts, and far worse – they can be dangerous. I mean – Vaseline…seriously. Who knows what could happen?!

Here’s what you do when faced with an embedded tick:

1) Grab the tick with tweezers (near the head)

2) Pull

That’s it.

I forgot to mention that tucked in amongst the lore about removing ticks is the also-ridiculous lore about what happens if a tick head stays in your dog, as if the dead tick head is somehow magically worse than the live tick. It’s possible that you may get a teeny little eensy micro-abscess or pocket of pus as the body tries to eject the now-dead tick head from its former cozy resting place in your doggy’s derriere, but nothing bad will happen. People are afraid that the tick head will somehow magically reanimate and wander around looking for brains to eat. If you feel the urge to pry the little grody tick head out with tweezers, feel free but there’s no need.

If the thought of even coming near the tick sends you into fits, however, you have a couple good options. You can still apply PetArmor and the tick will die and fall off in short order or you can ask your veterinarian to remove it for you (they will almost certainly use the handy two-step grasp-and-pull method described above.)

Ticks: They’re gross, but preventable. Skip the kerosene and cotton balls and apply some easy squeezy PetArmor today so you won’t even have to worry about it anymore. If one does happen to sneak in before you have a chance to apply it, you have the tools you need to safely remove it.

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