Ticks can spread diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever. They can be painful for both you and your pet if you have an infestation. They normally attach themselves to dogs, or other animals that frequently go outside. Today, we’re going to share our guide on How to Get Rid of Ticks from anyone or anything that has been infested.
Unlike fleas, ticks are not insects, but 8-legged arachnids with larger bodies (about twice the size of a flea). Thankfully, they cannot jump the same way a flea can. There are several different varieties of tick that are categorized as hard-shells and soft-shells.
Hard-shell ticks will move between hosts constantly looking for new “meals” every few days. Hard-shell ticks will “quest” for a host by latching on new hosts who pass by.
Soft-shell ticks are not as aggressive and will stay attached to a single host that they will feed only a few times throughout the night. They won’t travel from any nests they have formed similarly to bed bugs.
Today, we’re going to help you eliminate any ticks you may find in three easy steps:
- Eliminate the sources
- Safely removing ticks
- Preventing future infestations
Let’s jump right in!
1. Eliminate the Source
Ticks normally reside in wooded areas, so if you live close to nature, you’re at a higher risk. Ticks also love to attach themselves to dirty places, therefore, the first step in getting rid of ticks is deep cleaning your home.
Inside the Home
Start with a general de-clutter of your home. Remember to go over places your pet frequents if your pet was the cause of your infestation. Next, start to clean:
- All bedding, linens, couches, and pillows with hot water
- Floors, carpets, cabinets, shelves, and mouldings
- Toys or other objects your pet frequently uses
- Underneath furniture
Try to use a vacuum cleaner with a disposable vacuum bag. Safely dispose of your vacuum bag in a sealed container away from your home. If your vacuum does not use a bag, carefully put all remnants of your vacuum in a sealed container, then clean inside of your vacuum with a disinfecting spray.
Remember: ticks hate dry heat. In fact, it’s the easiest and most natural way you can kill ticks. Studies have found that adult ticks can be killed within 6 minutes of being in a hot dryer.
If you do find ticks inside of your home, be sure to dispose of them safely so that they won’t return. Do not crush a tick if you find one, this not only attracts more ticks, but can also spread disease!
To kill any ticks you find, you can either:
- Seal it in a container with rubbing alcohol and soapy water
- Wrap it tightly in a container and throw it out
- Flush it down the toilet
Outside the Home
Now that you’ve decluttered inside your home, it’s time to clear out your yard and garden. As we mentioned, tick love wooded areas. To get rid of tick outside, be sure to:
- Regularly mow lawn to ensure ticks have nowhere to hide
- Keep all vegetation trimmed and remove dead, rotted, scraggly, and overgrown plants
- Store firewood properly and keep it at least 15 feet away from
- Clear out damp and dead leaves from your lawn
- Inspect places for moisture buildup and use an absorbent mulch to clear the area
Ensuring your yard is clean and dry will lessen the chances of ticks coming close to your home.
2. Safely Removing Ticks
If you find a tick on your pet, yourself, or your family, do not attempt to just rip the tick off. Find a pair of pointy (not square-headed) tweezers, and some rubbing alcohol. To safely remove the tick:
- Clean the area around the tick with rubbing alcohol
- Grab as close as possible to the tick’s head with your tweezers
- Slowly and firmly pull the tick straight up. Don’t try to twist or jerk the tick
- Place the tick in a disposable container to safely remove the tick
- Clean the bite again with rubbing alcohol, and wash hands thoroughly
Check the affected area(s) for a day to look out for adverse reactions. If you, or anyone begins to experience flu-like symptoms or a rash, seek medical attention. If you’re worried about the tick carrying diseases, you can send the flea off for testing. Place a blade of grass in your container to keep the tick alive, then call a healthcare professional to see where it can be tested in your state.
Protect Your Pet
To protect your pet from ticks, find collars and sprays made from fipronil. Fipronil is a chemical ingredient that’s been specially formulated to help pets who have been infected by pests. Thoroughly comb through your pet’s fur and safely remove ticks, then put a topical cream on affected areas. Always read and follow the label of any products you’re using and look out for any adverse reactions on you or your pet.
You can also take preventive measures with your pet! Food-grade level diatomaceous earth (DE) can be added to your pet’s diet if you want to try and protect your pet against pests including:
Contact your vet before using DE on your pet.
Protect Your Family
To ensure your family is safe from ticks, safely remove ticks then create your own DIY pest repellent. You can make your own natural repellent spray by mixing:
- ½ cup witch hazel
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of either eucalyptus, neem, or lemongrass essential oil
Spray all over your body and over affected areas of your home. Remember that some essential oils can be harmful to pets, so be sure to check which essential oils your furry one will be okay with.
Finally, set up traps under beds, furniture, and around entryways. Look for products that use permethrin or bifenthrin. These chemicals will attack the pest’s nervous system, and kill them when it becomes ingested. Always read and follow the label of any product you’re using. If you’re worried about your pet getting into your traps, try using diatomaceous earth as a natural solution.
3. Preventing Future Infestations
To prevent future infestations, what you’ll need to do is continually clean and de-clutter your home while on the lookout for ticks.
To ensure your home is safe from ticks or if you want more suggestions for how you can protect your family against ticks, call one of our trusted partners. A local exterminator in your area can help you find more solutions, and thoroughly inspect your home for any signs of infestations. Speak to someone today by calling (833) 431-0401.
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