Updated: May 25, 2023

Ticks are small, blood-sucking parasites that can be found in grassy and wooded areas. They can latch onto humans or animals and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis. Therefore, it is important to know how to get rid of ticks and prevent them from coming back.


The best way to deal with ticks is to prevent them from getting on your body or your pets in the first place. Here are some tips for preventing tick bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when walking in wooded or grassy areas.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or IR3535.
  • Check yourself and your pets for ticks after spending time outside.
  • Keep your lawn trimmed short and remove leaf litter and other debris that ticks may use as hiding places.
  • Use a tick preventive product on your pets such as Frontline, Advantix, or Seresto collars.

Removing Ticks

If you do find a tick on yourself or your pet, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible to minimize the risk of disease transmission. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick, which can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.
  3. If the mouthparts do break off, try to remove them with the tweezers. If you can’t remove them easily, leave them alone and let the skin heal.
  4. After removing the tick, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

It’s important to note that some home remedies for removing ticks such as using petroleum jelly or a hot match can actually make things worse by irritating the tick and increasing the risk of disease transmission.

Tick Control Products

There are a variety of tick control products available on the market that can help reduce the number of ticks in your yard or on your pets. Here are some examples:

  • Insecticides: Sprays, granules, or foggers that contain insecticides such as permethrin can be used to kill ticks in your yard. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and keep children and pets away from treated areas until they have dried.
  • Tick tubes: These are cardboard tubes filled with cotton that has been treated with an insecticide. They are placed in areas where mice, which are a common host for ticks, are likely to find them. The mice take the treated cotton back to their nests, which kills the ticks.
  • Tick collars: Some pet collars contain insecticides that repel or kill ticks. Be sure to choose a collar that is specifically labeled for tick control and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Spot-on treatments: These are liquids that are applied directly to your pet’s skin. They contain insecticides that kill ticks and fleas. Be sure to choose a product that is labeled for tick control and follow the instructions carefully.

Natural Remedies

Some people prefer to use natural remedies to get rid of ticks. Here are some examples:

  • Essential oils: Some essential oils such as lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint are said to repel ticks. You can dilute them with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply them to your skin or your pet’s fur.
  • Diatomaceous earth: This is a powder made from fossilized algae that can be sprinkled on your lawn or around your home to kill ticks and other insects. Be sure to choose food-grade diatomaceous earth and wear a mask when applying it to avoid inhaling the dust.
  • Nematodes: These are microscopic worms that can be added to your lawn or garden to eat ticks and other pests. They are harmless to humans and pets.

While natural remedies may be appealing, it’s important to remember that they have not been scientifically proven to be effective and may not be as reliable as insecticides.


Ticks can be a nuisance and a health risk, but there are many ways to deal with them. By taking steps to prevent tick bites, removing ticks promptly, using tick control products, and possibly using natural remedies, you can reduce your risk of tick-borne diseases and enjoy the outdoors safely.