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Which tick removal tool is best?

It’s hard to believe, but ticks are one of the most harmful tiny insects in the world. These parasites can carry a variety of chronic conditions, including Lyme disease, a disease that creates long-term, catastrophic symptoms in people, pets and livestock. 

If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent, it’s important to buy the best tick removal tool out there. When you need a portable tick removal tool that is simple and easy to use, the Original Tick Key for Tick Removal is a great option.

What to know before you buy a tick removal tool

Even if you’ve treated your home with flea and tick powder, you may still find a tick or two on your skin when you come in from a hike or a walk. Here are a few things to keep in mind before buying a tick removal tool.

For people or pets

Although you can use many tick removal tools on both people and pets, some tools work better for specific species. For example, dogs frequently have thick coats, which makes it difficult to find ticks hiding in their hairs. If you want a tick removal tool to primarily use on pets, you might look for a long-handled tool that can easily navigate through hair or fur. 

Type of tool

The kind of ticks that are in your region will influence what type of tool you should use. Some tools feature a large, flat scooping surface, while others resemble tweezers. A tweezer-like tool works well for smaller ticks, while ones with scooping surfaces work better for larger ticks. 

What to look for in a quality tick removal tool

Portability and ease of use

Most tick removal tools are portable, and some even fit in your wallet. If you are an overnight hiker and interested in a nightly tick check, look for a smaller tool that you can carry with you at all times. Also, look for tools with straightforward instructions, so you can use them without any difficulty.

Thin edges and notches

Thin edges allow you to get very close to where the tick’s head meets your skin. Close contact gives you the best chance of removing the tick without removing its head or damaging its body. It’s crucial to get out the entire tick if possible since leaving the head in may still spread disease. You can also opt for a tool with a V-shaped notch, which acts as a corral that focuses on removing the tick’s head without touching the body.

How much you can expect to spend on a tick removal tool

Tick removal tools are very affordable, so you should be able to invest in a good option for you and your pets. Expect to spend between $8-$20 on a solid tick removal tool. 

Tick removal tool FAQ

Why is it so hard to remove ticks?

A. Ticks burrow their mouthparts into your skin and feed. This burrowing action makes it difficult to remove the tick because they effectively lock themselves into your skin. Simply plucking them off can result in essentially decapitating the tick, leaving its head underneath your skin. In addition to various serious diseases, leaving a tick’s mouthparts in your skin can cause an infection.

Why do you need a tool to remove ticks?

A. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists 13 tick-borne diseases that are prevalent across the U.S. They also list five common methods of tick removal, four of which are relatively ineffective.

The least effective removal methods are:

  • Smothering with petroleum jelly
  • Suffocating with fingernail polish
  • Splashing them with rubbing alcohol
  • Burning them with fire

While ticks may eventually die and fall off using the above methods, this could take days. And the longer a tick stays attached to you or your pet, the more likely it will transmit disease. Deer and nymph stages of ticks are nearly impossible to grasp with your fingers. And doing so may spread infectious fluid on your hands. It’s best to use a dedicated tool to remove ticks immediately upon discovery.

What are the best tick removal tools to buy?

Top tick removal tool

Original Tick Key for Tick Removal

Original Tick Key for Tick Removal

What you need to know: To safely remove ticks from people, this tool is the best option.

What you’ll love: Remove ticks without killing them or touching them to reduce the risk of transmitting disease. This portable key measures only 2.5 inches long by 1.5 inches wide. You can add it to your keychain, and you can use it on pets, too. It comes in a three-pack.

What you should consider: Some people still had a little difficulty removing deer ticks with this tool.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top tick removal tool for money

Tick Twister Tick Remover Set

Tick Twister Tick Remover Set

What you need to know: This is one of the most popular tick removal kits, both for the effectiveness and price.

What you’ll love: It’s easy to use and comes in five colors. This kit includes large and small tweezers for ticks of all sizes, and it works on people and pets. There is no squeezing with this tool, so there is very little chance of opening the tick’s body. It’s made of recycled, durable plastic.

What you should consider: It may not work on nymph ticks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

TickCheck Premium Tick Remover Kit

TickCheck Premium Tick Remover Kit

What you need to know: If you want to identify the ticks you remove, this is the kit for you.

What you’ll love: This kit comes with a v-shaped removal tool and tweezers, plus a tick identification card. It’s packaged in a leather carrying case, and it works for people and their pets. The tools are stainless steel, and the handles have a bright plastic coating, making it easier to see if you drop them. Part of the expense of this set goes towards researching Lyme disease.

What you should consider: It’s more expensive than other removal tools.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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