Catching a tick early before they bite is always the best solution, but sometimes you need to find a way to kill them. I’ve heard that you can sprinkle a little bit of dawn dish detergent to kill ticks, but does it actually work?
Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Ticks? Dawn dish soap might dry ticks out enough to kill them, but it takes way too long. Smothering a tick with dish soap is not an effective method to remove them. You want to get the tick off as fast as possible, not let it continue to feed and spread tick-borne illness.
Using dawn dish soap on a tick bite might help kill any infection, but there are faster and easier methods to remove ticks. Continue reading to find out the only safe way to remove a tick.
Dawn Dish Soap Doesn’t Remove Ticks But It Might Slowly Kill Them
Technically speaking, dawn dish detergent will probably kill a tick given enough time. It will pull the protective oils from the ticks outer shell and it will eventually dry out and die.
So dish detergents will most likely kill ticks, but there’s one major problem. It takes way too long for it to work. You don’t want to let a tick attach to your skin and start sucking out blood. That’s how you end up with lyme disease, infections, and other tick borne illness.
According to the CDC, there’s very little chance of catching lyme disease if a tick is removed within 24 hours. That’s because it takes 36-48 hours for a tick to burrow and start feeding after latching on.
They transmit disease through their saliva which is only release during the feeding process. You might still get a minor skin infection if you remove a tick early, but you won’t have to worry about major disease.
There’s Still a Place For Dish Soap
You will still want to have some dish soap on hand when removing ticks. It might not actually remove them, but it does help reduce your risk of infection.
The only safe way to remove a tick is with a set of tweezers. Once it’s removed you’ll want to wash the bite area with soap and water to prevent infection. Keep an eye on the area and watch for signs of infection like a rash.
Keep reading below for a quick video explaining how to remove ticks.
Never Use A Home Remedy to Remove a Tick
There are dozens of home remedies that promise to kill and remove ticks. They all focus on one major principle. That if you make a ticks life miserable it will back off on its own.
Methods like burning a tick out, smothering it in vaseline, covering it in nail polish all act on the idea that a tick will back out in an uncomfortable situation. Without a blood meal it will likely shrivel up and die. They won’t just back out on their own knowing that’s a death sentence.
So why do so many people swear by these methods? It’s probably because ticks fall off on their own after a few days of feeding. Whether or not you get lyme disease at that point depends on the ticks previous blood hosts.
Lyme disease spreads as ticks move from one host to another. You never know what disease ridden animal that tick previously fed off of. It could be a possum, raccoon or maybe even a rat.
Who knows what kind of disease you’re going to pick up? We all hear about lyme disease, but there are other tick-borne illnesses.
The Only Safe Way to Kill A Tick
According to the CDC there’s only one safe way to remove a tick. Finding a tick attached to your skin isn’t that big of a deal. Don’t Panic! All you need is a pair of plain fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick.
I actually bought a specialized tick removal tool called the Tick Key a few years ago. My dogs are afraid of tweezers so I needed something that would be easier to use. It’s so easy that I even use it on myself now.
The following method will allow you to safely remove ticks as soon as you find them. It takes a while for ticks to spread disease if you don’t have tweezers go out and buy them. Continue down below for a quick video demonstration.
How to remove a Tick With Tweezers
- Use a pair of fine tipped scissors to grasp the body of a tick.
- Grab the tick as close to your skin as possible trying not to squeeze.
- Barely grab the tick and pull up with steady even pressure. Never twist or try to smash the tick because that will leave parts of him embedded in your skin. You probably won’t get lyme disease, but it could cause a nasty rash.
- If you’re unable to remove the mouth or other body parts leave it alone. Digging at it will just cause additional problems and it should fall off on its own.
- Thoroughly clean the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol after removing the tick.
- You can dispose of a tick by putting it in some rubbing alcohol, wrapping it in tape or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush it with your fingers.
If you find and remove a tick early you shouldn’t have to worry. There’s very little chance of infection if a tick is removed within the first 24 hours.
Check for a rash or fever in the following weeks after removing a tick. Be sure to call your doctor if you see any issues because you can only cure lyme disease if it’s caught early. Try to remember when the bite occurred and where you most likely acquired the tick to tell your doctor.