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I don’t know if it was the full moon last week, but the ticks decided to eat me alive while I was out in the woods teaching survival classes. Annoying as the little insects can be, they gave me the chance to test out a new tick removal tool, the Tick Key.

The brave and determined ticks made their way up my DEET-soaked pants and dug in all around my waist and a few places we can’t mention on our family-friendly web site.

The Tick Key claims to remove 99.9% of all ticks regardless of size and type. I must have been infested with all of them that make up the other .1%. Try as I might to get a hold of them, the teardrop shaped opening on the tool kept turning the ticks, sideways which allowed them to slip out of the clutches of the tool.

In theory, the tool seemed like it should work, and it is well constructed from high-strength anodized aluminum. But it did not latch on to the tiny, small and medium-size ticks as well as I had hoped. My advice is to simply stick with a quality pair of pointy-nosed tweezers, which are more effective than most tick-removal tools at pulling out splinters and thorns and other things that tend to find their way into the skin of outdoorsmen more often than ticks.