How to Remove Cactus Spines

Everyone wants to know how to remove cactus spines. I say you should use a large pair of rubber-gripped pliers. Well, either that or pull them out with your teeth, being careful they don’t get transfered to your tongue.

The East Valley Tribune (AZ) has some other tips too.

The easiest way to remove glochids is with a pair of tweezers. With a dark background and the affected area in bright light, you can usually spot the difference between your own body hair and the straight, stiff, slightly thicker glochid. Once you spot it, just pluck it with your tweezers….

If you get too close to a jumping cholla and a piece breaks off on you or your clothing you will need to use a tool (such as two sticks – using them like chopsticks) in order to pry the cholla off without using your bare hands.

Oh, these tips are ridiculous. Really, the best way to remove a jumping cholla (Opuntia bigelovi) is with pliers. And to remove hundreds of glochids a piece of duct tape works best. A single small spine from any cactus can be removed with tweezers. We use the kind that have a magnifier attached right on them.

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May 2020

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