Can You Drown a Tick? {Best Way To Kill A Tick Explained}

Do you see a tick on the move or attached to the skin? Capturing that tick makes you wonder, “Can You Drown a Tick?”

Could you submerge a part of skin with a tick attached in the hope of drowning a tick? What’s the best way to kill a tick?

We will take a quick moment of your time to explain all of this and more while we find out right away if ticks drown.

Can You Drown a Tick?

Yes. A tick can drown if it is submerged underwater for up to 2-3 days.

This doesn’t mean you can’t drown a tick faster, but it clearly shows that there are better ways to kill a tick instead of drowning it.

Look for drowning a tick in rubbing alcohol or bleach instead of water. This is a faster and smarter approach to killing a tick.

Can Ticks Drown?

Yes. Ticks are unable to swim. They will drown. The time is takes for a tick to drown may lead to hours or up to a couple days time.

Trying to dip a tick stuck to your body or any animal in your care will not work. It takes too long to drown a tick this way. Remove the tick first carefully to not explode its gut contents  and possibly worsen the bite.

A tick that you spot moving from one place to another can be drowned in rubbing alcohol or bleach much faster since these pure chemicals kill them.

Do Ticks Go in Water?

Ticks do not go in water on their own. They don’t swim. However, they can survive for long periods of time underwater.

They having a respiration system that can allow them to breathe in the water for lengthy periods of time. This respiration system is called a plastron where oxygen can be trapped through cuticles and hydrophobic hairs on a tick.

Why Should You Not Flush Ticks Down the Toilet?

You should not attempt to flush a tick down the toilet. The reason being is quite obvious. Ticks can survive in water.

They will not drown and there’s a very good chance one can crawl right back out of the toilet. Imagine that.

Avoid that outcome by never flushing a tick or pouring water over them to push them down any drain.

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How Long Does It Take To Drown a Tick?

It’s going to take quite a long time for a tick to drown. There’s enough evidence to suggest that ticks can stay submerged underwater for up to 3 days without any problem.

This is because they have a separate respiratory system for capturing oxygen in water to continue breathing.

Do Ticks Wash Off in Shower?

If a tick is attached to the skin, it will be hard to wash it off in the shower. Ticks that are unattached will be able to take a ride down the drain in the shower.

Depending on the length of your shower and how far down they make it through the drain, there is a chance they can climb right back up. This is because ticks do not drown in water for quite a while.

There are cases of ticks crawling out of drains and toilets. Showering your pets and yourself also help to keep you both safer against any tick borne diseases.

Can Ticks Survive in the Washing Machine?

Believe it or not, There are instances reported of ticks being able to survive hot water rushing through the washing machine for a complete cycle. Ticks can survive in moist spaces or completely submerged underwater for long periods of time.

The dryer however, will be able to roast a tick in no time. This is because the moisture that ticks require in their bodies to survive will dry out. It will suffocate and die.

The next time you are worried about whether or not you may have a tick in your washing machine, take everything out, and place them in the dryer. If a tick was on any of your clothing or laundry items, it will die in the dryer.

How Do You Suffocate a Tick?

Torching the tick would be the fastest way to kill it. This is not a safe way however. We highly recommend only adults pull out a tick with tweezers and light it up with a lighter.

You can also touch a hot match to a tick. They will suffocate from the fumes of a match and burn as well.

If you would like a safer approach, you can also cover a tick with petroleum jelly or nail polish to suffocate it. Freezing it will also kill it as well.

If a tick is attached to the skin, suffocating it with petroleum jelly instead of pulling it out right away might be easier for you. They will loosen their grip and you can pull out a dead tick much safer.

What is The Best Way to Kill A Tick?

The question is subjective, but I will answer based on my opinions only. I’m going to pick my top 3 ways to kill a tick quickly.

  1. A lighter and tweezers
  2. a match
  3. a cup of bleach or rubbing alcohol

1. Lighter and Matches

Grab that sucker with a pair of tweezers. This allows you to get a better grip without touching it. Hold the lighter up to tweezer end and light the tick up. You may hear a pop. My dog and I are satisfied by the sound.

2. A Match

Spark a match and touch a tick with it. The searing burn and the fumes to top it off will kill a tick quickly.

3. A Cup of Bleach or Rubbing Alcohol.

You can mix both or use only one of these lethal liquids to drown a tick and suffocate it.

Other notable methods include covering a tick in petroleum jelly. You can also paint it with nail polish. Both thicker liquids will cause a tick to stop breathing if it’s completely covered.


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