Ticks are part of the arachnid family which might only account for one of the reasons why people don’t like them. They are ectoparasites, meaning they gorge themselves on the blood of deer, dogs, birds, cats and people alike. Because they’re capable of spreading disease, this makes them especially undesirable. If you live in an area close to a river, woods, or a deer population, then you and your pets have a higher chance of picking up ticks. Read these nine tips to prevent ticks in the yard and from when you travel.
Cover any woodpile in your yard with a tarp to keep it dry.
Get rid of foliage in the yard because this provides a home for ticks in between feasting on blood. Don’t take dead leaves or other foliage for compost from somebody else’s yard because it may contain ticks. Additionally, remove dead branches and dry out damp areas in your lawn.
If there is a large deer population nearby, or they make a regular appearance in your yard then you should put up a deer fence.
When you go hiking, wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin. Wearing light-colored clothing is better because it makes ticks easier to spot.
After getting home, wash clothes in hot water and launder them on high heat.
Do a quick tick check on your dogs after walking in a wooded area or other areas that are known to have ticks.
Dusting your dog with DE
Having someone else help you can make the process go by more quickly. Although your dog should enjoy it since it will feel like a massage. Being thorough is key here. Ticks can hide pretty much anywhere. Start off by checking your dog all over. Push back the hair to expose the skin. If you do come across a tick, using tweezers is a little more effective and gets rid of the problem instantly. Have a firm grasp on the head because you don’t want to leave that behind when you pull the tick out.
Tweezers are the best way to get rid of ticks, but it can be difficult to find them all. Dusting your dog with diatomaceous earth is a little bit like an insurance policy. Ticks can hide anywhere on your pet, and you might not be able to find all the spots. The other advantage to diatomaceous earth is you can use it around the house as well if an infestation breaks out.
Treating Your Home for a Tick Infestation
Pets are the number one source of ticks in the home, so treating them is usually the first priority. The problem is ticks can fall of your pet and live in your home for a short time. The good news is, they generally can’t live more than a few days without a host and they desiccate rather quickly. Clean your home top to bottom and then some. Use the thin nozzle attachment to get in areas like shelves, baseboards, and cracks in the floors. Toss out your vacuum bag afterwards, or dump out the contents of the vacuum container into a sealed bag and toss it out.
After cleaning, dust your home with diatomaceous earth since it’s a natural tick repellent. Be liberal in your amounts and spread it throughout the house. Vacuum the DE up after a week or so, or once you notice the ticks are gone.
If things have gotten out of hand, or the infestation is particularly brutal, then it’s best to call an exterminator. As per usual, for more information about ticks, check out the links below.