Removing a tick that is attached to a host involves firmly grasping the tick's head near the skin with a pair of pointed tweezers, and gently but firmly pulling the tick out of the skin using a straight motion. The insect shouldn't be twisted during removal.
When tweezers aren't available, someone wanting to remove a tick can wash his hands with soap and water, place tissue paper over the tick, and remove it with the fingers by grasping the tick near the head and pulling away from the host's body in a straight motion. The tick's abdominal area shouldn't be squeezed during the removal. Improperly removing the tick may cause the tick's mouth, or pieces of the mouth, to remain in the skin. After the tick is removed, it's a good idea to remove any visible pieces of the tick left in the skin, wash the area around the bite with soap and water and examine the skin.
Other methods of removal, such as placing a layer of petroleum jelly over the tick, are not effective and may result in illness caused by prolonged exposure to the tick. After removing the insect, it should be placed in a lidded container to ensure it can be identified if health concerns arise as a result of the bite.