It only takes one tick to infest your home and yard. Yes, only one! A pregnant female tick can lay thousands of eggs and once they hatch, they go in search of food. And the only food ticks want is blood from people or animals, including our pets. Since some ticks carry infectious diseases, they’re definitely not the kind of housemates you want hanging around. So how can you fight ticks in your home and yard – even if you spot only one? Here are a few things you can do:
Indoors Tick Protection:
Use pest control products on your pets. There’s one way to be sure that if a tick climbs onto your pet, its tick days are numbered. Use a flea and tick solution on your pet – one that controls and kills ticks on contact. A smart choice is the Vet’s Best line of natural flea and tick solutions. Vet’s Best has shampoos, sprays, wipes and spot-on-treatments for dogs, plus several that have been specially formulated for cats. They also use only natural ingredients such as peppermint oil and clove extract in their products – no harsh pesticides – which we think is great. Ticks will disagree. Don’t give ticks a place to hide in your home. If you’re not into housework (we see a few hands raised) we’re sorry, but ticks like messy homes where they can hide and breed. Clean, vacuumed, clutter-free homes aren’t so inviting for them. And from our point of view, when everything’s neat and tidy, it makes it so much easier to spot the nasty little bloodsuckers! Wash clothing and bedding in hot water and detergent. If you see any ticks on clothing or bedding (including pet bedding) or other fabrics, throw everything in the wash right away. You’ll also need to then put them in the tumble dryer on a high heat setting for at least 10 minutes to make sure the ticks are permanently dispatched.
Give your yard a makeover. Ticks love shady, moist areas full of dead leaves and tall grasses. They won’t be happy if you do the following: Cut back vegetation from around your home. Clear your yard of brush. Rake up dead leaves (leaf litter is a favorite place for them to hide). Mow your grass often. Put woodpiles in neat stacks. Line any paths with wood chips as they hurt the little critters feet. And welcome the sun into your yard. By destroying their habitat and letting in bright sunlight, you’ll be putting up a “ticks not welcome” sign. Erect a fence. This will stop tick-carrying animals such as deer and coyotes from bringing ticks into your yard. Bonus: They won’t be able to wreak havoc on your plants and trees. We recommend making the fence at least 8 ft. high and slanted outward because deer can jump over fences 6 ft. or taller and end up getting caught or injured, Spray your yard. If necessary – and by that we mean if ticks somehow manage to invade your yard despite all your hard work – start spraying! Choose a pest control product that’s labeled for outdoor use. We prefer a no-chemical solution that’s made with natural extracts and ingredients, such as Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Yard & Kennel Spray. It’s safe for use around pets and kids (and adults too)! Spray turf, grass, bushes, trees, decks, dog houses and all concrete and asphalt areas with the solution. If you need to treat a large area, you can use the spray with a hose attachment to treat up to 4,500 sq. ft. So that’s it — now get out there and protect your home from these creepy-crawlies!