Painless Tick Removal 101: The Great Experiment

We live in TN. Ticks seem to regard TN as their own personal utopia and seem to be everywhere both in quantity and variety. I did some reading/research a while back on how to safely remove ticks without the traditional yank and pull method which risks leaving the parasites head behind OR causing a chunk of skin to be removed along with the tick. Neither of those are fantastic situations and are often painful. Somewhere or other I stumbled over the recommendation of saturating the tick with essential oil, the oil soaks into the skin and around the ticks mouth and causes them to turn loose automatically because their tasty blood feast isn’t so yummy anymore.

All excited about this “pain free” alternative (which btw was also alluded to as being an effective prevention of Lymes and other diseases carried by ticks) I eagerly waited for the next victim -I mean, person to get a tick for me to experiment on. I waited…And waited…And waited some more. TheMan had spread diatemateous earth around our yard a couple of years ago because it was reputed to do away with ticks and other problem bug like critters. We had seed ticks by the thousands. Apparently it worked because the past couple of years ticks have been kinda scarce around our yard. Still. There were plenty of ticks elsewhere and in the woods so it had to be only a matter of days…maybe a couple of weeks…right? Try a couple of MONTHS later I finally got my hands on a real life person with a tick that wasn’t too terrified of my concoctions to allow me to experiment on her.

It was a nice medium sized tick that had a firm grip upon her scalp. What I had read recommended soaking a cotton ball in essential oil and taping it over the tick for a little while, checking periodically to see if it had let go.  Since this was in the middle of her head tape didn’t seem like a viable alternative so I decided to just drip drop the essential oil neat directly over the tick. Once assured that the oil would in no way hurt her hair, my trusting companion consented to the modified protocol.

I watched closely to see any reactions from the tick as the Tea Tree Essential  oil (my weapon of choice since it is very safe to be applied neat, or, without dilution) slowly saturated him and the surrounding hair and skin. A miserable squirming commenced, and after a couple minutes I could see him frantically trying to back away. He opened his jaws and seemed to be trying to “spit out” or unhook his little pincers from her skin. When he had just barely a bit of it left in his jaws I quickly tugged him away (concerned that at the rate of his current squirming and scrabbling if he got totally unhooked he would disappear into other parts of her hair). A tiny flake of skin came away with his jaws. BUT there was no bleeding, no red mark, no NOTHING. You couldn’t even tell where he had been. Thankfully for once I remembered to take before and after pictures of the process. Well, they are really more like during and after…I forgot to take a picture before I dropped the oil on.

Tick sqirming miserably after the oil is dripped upon it.

Tick sqirming miserably after the oil is dripped upon it.

Same area after the tick was removed. Can't even tell it was ever there!

Same area after the tick was removed. Can't even tell it was ever there!

I plan on trying this on any future ticks we come across and hopefully will have as good a results as we did this time. I’m thinking about trying Lavender Essential oil next time since quite frankly I like the smell of Lavender better than Tea Tree essential oil.

Anybody else have tried and true painless tick removal methods? I’d love to hear about them! =D If anybody is brave enough to try this protocol on themselves or someone that will allow you to experiment please take the time to let me know how it works.

7 thoughts on “Painless Tick Removal 101: The Great Experiment

  1. Thanks so much Stephanie! We don’t get a lot of ticks, but did have two in the past few months. One on my 9 month old of all people! I will be trying this next time; it sounds so much safer (and easier).

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  3. I light a match, then blow it out and touch the hot match to the tick’s back. This usually causes the tick to promptly pull its head out for easy removal. The essential oil method sounds simpler and safer, though.

  4. We just did this on our puppy, and it worked instantly, painlessly & no irritation of his due/skin! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I read peppermint essential oil and used that on my dog. He was squirmier than the tic. I probably should have waited a bit longer but the tic came off easily. We’re searching the house for a magnifying glass to see if we got the whole critter. Riley has a tiny red spot that I put lavender oil on after.

  6. In the summer of 2008 I had a deer tick in my back and the classic “bullseye rash” indicating the dreaded Lyme disease! I read up about it and learned that Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria. Knowing that tea tree oil easily kills bacteria topically, I asked my girlfriend at the time Mindy to put some on the tick. She did and told me it wiggled its little gas for about five seconds and then it was still. We waited about half an hour, putting a few more drops of tea tree oil on the tick and the wound because I wanted to make sure that all that nasty bacteria was dead ( the tick had long since left this world ) and Mindy pulled the tick out with no problem. It practically fell out on its own. She gave the wound another dose of tea tree oil and although the bulls eye rash was supposed to last from two to three weeks, mine was gone in two days. And in the last six years I have never developed any symptoms of Lyme disease.
    Remember kids; for every ailment there is a God given cure!

  7. I just did a search for tick removal with essential oil and your ‘painless’ in the title caught my eye. My son usually gets a tick a few times each summer and found one this morning. I was prepared for a long ordeal to remove it. Other things we have tried never worked as instantly and painlessly as this! The tick started moving after I applied the tea tree or melaleuca oil and we were able to grab him before he got away. THANK YOU for sharing!!

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