Most tick bites are painless, so it’s important to check for ticks daily and remove attached ticks as soon as possible. In most cases, blacklegged ticks need to attach to hosts for at least 24 hours before transmitting the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, so the earlier you find and remove ticks the better.
NOTE: Ticks should only be removed with tweezers. Do not use nail polish, petroleum jelly, or heat to try and detach ticks. Remember: the faster a tick is removed from you or your skin, the less time it has to infect you with Lyme-causing bacteria.
Need help removing a tick or determining whether you need health care? The CDC Tick Bite Bot will ask you a series of questions to help you make the right choice!
Visit our FAQ to explore more questions health care providers are commonly asked.