Tick removal tips and symptoms

Allegan County Health Department offers information.

Did you know that there are over 20 known tick species in Michigan? Most often, they survive by feeding on wildlife. Several species of ticks are known to bite people and pets and may harbor dangerous bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Not all ticks carry diseases, but tick-related diseases such as Lyme disease do occur in Michigan and can be serious or fatal if not properly diagnosed and treated.

The Allegan County Health Department offers the following tips regarding ticks.

Actions to take if you find a tick on you:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure.
  • Don’t twist or jerk the tick.
  • After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • If you would like to bring the tick to your healthcare provider for identification, put it in rubbing alcohol or place it in a sealed bag/container.

Keep an eye out for any symptoms:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Contact your primary care provider if symptoms worsen

Treatment for tickborne diseases should be based on symptoms, history of exposure to ticks, and in some cases, blood test results. Most tickborne diseases can be treated with a short course of antibiotics. For more information on tick diseases visit MDHHS.gov/ticks.