Guess Who’s Thrilled to See You Outside? Tick Control and Prevention Tips

Spending a lot of time in the garden might result in you or your pets becoming tick hosts, and ticks are not fun at all. Uniquely adapted to feed for long periods, they are capable of transmitting diseases. Their curved teeth burrow deeply into the skin of their hosts so that they can remain attached to them for days…

Ticks are closely related to mites but are larger and dependent on vertebrate blood. Occasionally, they are transferred into homes via domesticated animals, and humans can pick them up after walking through grass in an infested area.

If you’re concerned that some insecticides might harm your health, your pets, or the environment, read on for natural ways to eliminate those blood-sucking critters and why it is essential to control them.

The Importance of Tick Control

There is a high risk of tick bites for pets that spend considerable time outdoors, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. Occasionally ticks can transmit Lyme disease to pets and humans, which is why you need to have them removed as soon as possible. Keep in mind if a skin rash appears after a bite, it is vital to seek medical advice.

Check also: How to Keep Pets Pest-Free

What Does a Tick Look Like

A tick’s colour can vary from shades of brown to reddish-brown and black. They are flat and oval until they have taken a blood meal. When a tick feeds on its host for several days, it can become engorged and turn greenish-blue in colour. 

A tick can grow to the size of a marble. Adults and nymphs have eight legs, while tick larvae have only six. There is a mistaken belief that ticks jump onto their hosts or even fall out of trees, but ticks can neither jump nor fly. With their legs outstretched, they wait to grab and attach themselves to any passing host.

How to Get Rid of Ticks in the Yard

As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure when it comes to ticks. Using outdoor tick preventative measures will reduce the risk of carrying them indoors in the first place. 

Ideally, it would help if you made the area as unfriendly to these bugs as possible. Tick infestations are more likely to occur in certain spots, such as woodpiles, overgrown shrubs, tall grass and storage sheds. Here are some tick prevention tips for outdoor areas:

  • Cut back overgrown shrubs to reduce dampness beneath their branches, allowing light and air to circulate.
  • Put the woodpiles in a dry spot, such as on top of used wood crates, so that air can flow freely underneath.
  • Get rid of leaf litter and weeds regularly, along with yard waste and organic matter.
  • You can sprinkle Diatomaceous earth on the ground and the corners. If you want to spread the powder around the outside of the shed, you can, but water destroys its effectiveness. Therefore, it’s essential to reapply DE after rain.
  • Maintain low grass growth by frequently mowing, which will help control moisture in the soil. When you trim tall grasses, you cut back on places that ticks are attracted to, as well as areas that are attractive to your pet. It’s crucial to do so because if you have pets that go outside, they may bring ticks back to your house. As soon as they detect a warm body, ticks head for it and once they are buried beneath your pet’s fur, they are hard to spot.
  • Create a barrier. Having a fence in your yard will keep wild animals, such as deer and raccoons, out of your property. These animals can serve as a food source for ticks, so preventing them from entering is one way you can stop an infestation.

How to Get Rid of Ticks in Your Home Naturally

Keeping ticks out of your home is not difficult. There are several things you can do to get rid of them effectively:

  • Regularly treating your pet with tick products approved by a veterinarian.
  • Make sure you clean your home as thoroughly as possible. 
  • All shelves should be cleaned, forgotten corners should be dusted, and floors should be vacuumed and mopped.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural alternative treatment that can be sprinkled in the above areas. 
  • Pet owners should regularly vacuum the carpeted areas and furniture frequented by their pets.
  • Use the hottest water possible that is appropriate for the fabric type to wash clothes or linens suspected of being infected with ticks.
  • Don’t bother to step on ticks if you find them inside your house. Despite your best efforts, a tick’s body is hard, and it may survive. The better option is to pick it up with a piece of toilet paper and flush it down the toilet.

Natural Tick Repellents

The tick has an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so strong scents tend to drive them away. Several essential oils can keep ticks off clothing and even away from your property if strategically placed. These include thyme, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, and geraniol.

Natural insect and tick repellents, such as cedar oil, are entirely non-toxic. The solution can be sprayed directly on clothes and skin. Combine 4 parts distilled or boiled water and 30 to 50 drops of cedar oil (you can also add other oils like lavender or vanilla for a sweet scent). In addition to blocking the bug’s smell receptors and disrupting their body systems, oil also dries them out.

How to Remove a Tick Safely

When a tick attaches to your skin, remove it as soon as possible. A pair of fine-tipped tweezers works well to remove these bugs. 

  1. Grab the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible with clean, fine-tipped tweezers.
  1. Maintain even, steady pressure as you pull upward. Don’t twist the tick, as it may break off its mouthparts and remain inside the skin. If this occurs, carefully remove the mouthparts with the tweezers.
  1. Clean the bite area and your hands thoroughly with rubbing alcohol or soap and water after removing the tick.
  1. It is never advisable to crush a tick using your fingers. Better flush it down the toilet or wrap it tightly and throw it away.

Final Thoughts

Ticks are among the nastiest parasites that exist. We recommend applying the prevention techniques listed above to deter these bugs effectively. If you cannot handle it, we strongly advise that you consult a pest control company. Insecticides used by pest experts are exclusive to trained professionals and unavailable to the general public.

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