How do you stop a tick infestation?

It's way easier to prevent a tick infestation than to control one, keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure your pets are protected from fleas and ticks with topical or oral medications as recommended by your veterinarian
  • Wear insect repellant with Deet when walking in potentially tick-infested areas
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants, with the top of pants tucked into socks
  • Wear closed-toe shoes or boots when outdoors in tick prone areas
  • Stay on marked paths and do not venture into thick brush or tall grass
  • Check yourself, your family members, and your pets for ticks after walking in tick prone areas

Tick infestations in homes are rare up north because ticks need high humidity levels to survive and in most air-conditioned homes, humidity levels are too low. In areas where air conditioning isn’t necessary, the natural humidity levels are generally too low to support reproduction. However, vacation cottages, storage sheds, and workshops might be able to support a tick infestation so it’s important to be vigilant. In West Florida, the Brown Dog Tick can be found indoors and this particular tick is the only tick able to complete its entire life cycle indoors. Most often, the brown dog tick is the most common tick found in West Florida. An adult female tick can lay several hundred to up to 5000 eggs following a blood meal. A tick’s life cycle is egg, larvae (6 legged seed tick), nymph, and adult. Larvae and nymphs feed on dogs in order to shed their skin and molt eventually becoming an adult. Ticks can go several weeks or months without a blood meal and females become fully engorged after feeding in each stage and go into hiding between blood meals.

Ticks are arachnids and they can be very difficult to kill and must be treated directly for the best results. Follow up services, often 3 or 4 services at 10-14 day intervals for severe infestations over 60 days, will be necessary to fully eliminate a tick infestation.

To stop a tick infestation, there are several methods, and treatment must be thorough. Treatment of the areas where the pet sleeps or spends most of its time is essential. Use of diatomaceous earth (DE) powder or dust in cracks and crevices can be effective. DE acts as a drying agent that dehydrates ticks. As an alternative, you can use a commercially available, safe to use indoors, non-toxic pesticide in the above areas. To be sure you successfully eliminate a tick infestation, you should contact a professional pest control company.

Make your outdoor areas unattractive to ticks if you’re interested in keeping these infestations at bay. Because ticks don’t like sunny, dry places or short grass, we recommend:

  • Trimming shrubs and vegetation from around your property
  • Inspect and treat as necessary new mulch as ticks can be brought onto the property in mulch
  • Keeping your grass trimmed short
  • Stacking wood away from your home and in a way that allows air to flow through
  • Clean outdoor pet bedding resting areas regularly
  • Be aware of any local wildlife that could potentially carry ticks onto the property
  • Be careful boarding your dog at kennels as ticks may be present at some kennels
  • In some areas, particularly up north where ticks outside pose a greater threat, some homeowners have tried tick tubes

If DIY tick control isn’t enough to stop a tick infestation, contact a trusted pest control company, such as Pestwise, and leave your tick infestation to the pros.

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