Removal of attached nymphs and adults of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae)

J Med Entomol. 1993 Jul;30(4):748-52. doi: 10.1093/jmedent/30.4.748.


Chemical and mechanical methods of removing Ixodes ricinus (L.) attached to the skin of pigs and sheep were tested experimentally. Three frequently advocated chemical treatments (gasoline, fingernail polish, and methylated spirit) failed to induce self-detachment of the ticks within 30 min. Also, the success of the subsequent mechanical removal was not influenced by chemical treatment. Two methods of mechanical removal of the ticks also were compared: (1) pulling straight out with a blunt forceps and (2) rotation of the tick around its body axis, using a "Tick Solution" forceps (Instruments of Sweden, Stamford, CT). Pulling frequently resulted in the complete removal of the tick, but fragments of the mouthparts that remained in the skin were often quite large. In contrast, if the tick was removed by rotation without pulling, the tip of the hypostome usually broke off and remained in the skin, but this portion was generally quite small.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Insect Bites and Stings / veterinary*
  • Insect Control*
  • Netherlands
  • Sheep / parasitology*
  • Swine / parasitology*
  • Ticks* / ultrastructure