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Evaluation of three commercial tick removal tools

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      Objective

      To evaluate three commercially available tick removal tools against medium-tipped nontissue tweezers.

      Methods

      We evaluated three commercially available tick removal tools against medium-tipped tweezers. Three inexperienced users randomly removed attached American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis Say) and lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum L.) from laboratory rabbits in a university animal facility using all tools during one removal session.

      Results

      Tick damage occurring from removal and quantity of attachment cement were compared. No tool removed nymphs without damage and all tools removed adults of both species successfully. American dog ticks proved easier to remove than lone star ticks, whose mouthparts often remained in the skin.

      Conclusions

      Nymphal ticks were consistently removed more successfully with commercial tools when compared with tweezers but with more difficulty than adults were removed. The commercial tick removal tools tested are functional for removal of nymphs and adults and should be considered as viable alternatives to medium-tipped tweezers.

      Key words

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