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How Do I Control a Tick Infestation?

Depending on their sex and type, ticks can expand to different sizes -- as big as a grape or as small as an apple seed -- when feeding on blood.
A brown dog tick.
Treating the animal alone typically does not work when trying to control a tick infestation.
Grass clippings must be removed from a yard prior to spraying pesticides for controlling a tick infestation.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Ticks are a common parasitic mite that get their nourishment from the blood of animals, and they have been linked to such ailments as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Since a female tick can lay thousands of eggs at one time, a tick infestation, especially if you have pets, can develop quickly. To get a tick infestation under control, any pets in the house, as well as the environment itself, must be cleaned thoroughly and treated with tick-killing and tick-repelling agents.

There are several tick killing sprays and powders available on the market. These formulas are typically sprayed or sprinkled onto a pet's coat and rubbed in. Some pet shampoos are also designed to kill ticks, and these may also help remove loose ticks and eggs that are stuck in the animal's fur.

After the majority of the ticks are killed on the animal, to control a tick infestation, you must also try to keep other ticks from attaching to him. Some flea collars claim to repel ticks, but most veterinarians recommend that the dog is treated with a topical flea and tick repellent. After they is applied to the animal, these types of tick repellents are absorbed through the animal's skin. The repellent will then be released from the animal's sweat and oil glands, killing existing ticks and repelling new ones.

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Treating the animal alone typically does not work when trying to control a tick infestation. His environment must also be treated. This includes both inside and outside of the house.

Thoroughly cleaning indoor areas is essential when trying to get rid of household ticks. It is especially important to exterminate ticks in and around the areas where an animal spends a lot of time. His bedding should be washed in hot soapy water, and any carpet should be vacuumed thoroughly.

Pesticides and insecticides can also be used indoors when trying to control a tick infestation. Many of these sprays kill ticks on contact, and act as a tick repellent. Since ticks often climb into tiny cracks and crevices to hide, these should be sprayed thoroughly. If you have a severe tick infestation, you may want to use a pest bomb or fogger that is specifically designed to kill ticks.

Outdoor tick sprays and powders can help kill ticks outside of your home, preventing them from feeding on either you or your animal and hitching a ride inside. Sprays are often attached to a garden hose, while powders, like diatomaceous earth, are simply sprinkled onto the ground. Before using either of these methods, your yard must first be clear of litter like fallen leaves and grass clippings. Keeping the grass and shrubs in your yard short can also help prevent a tick infestation.

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Sporkasia
Post 3

One of the problems with ticks is that they do not have enough natural predators in the wild. Wild turkeys, mainly the younger ones, eat ticks, but not enough to make a big difference over a large space. However, there are some animals that can help you prevent or get rid of a tick infestation in your yard.

Chickens will eat practically any bug that moves, and ticks are no exceptions. A small number of chickens will easily control the ticks in your yard. Guineas are even better than chickens for tick control because the guineas will roam a bit more and cover a larger area. Also, guineas are less likely to scratch around and damage your lawn and plants. They are also better able to protect themselves from predators than chickens are.

Feryll
Post 2

@Laotionne - I also didn't know ticks could reproduce so quickly, and one tick laying a thousand eggs is a scary thought. However, it may help to know that most of the ticks from these eggs never actually feed on humans or any animals for that matter. Ticks have to feed at each stage of their lives and when they do not then they die.

Most ticks never find hosts to feed from. What makes survival even more difficult for ticks is that most of them prefer to have a different host for each of the stages of their lives. A tick would have a better chance of living a full life if it found one host and stuck to the host for life.

Laotionne
Post 1

The first paragraph of this article says that a female tick can lay thousands of eggs at a time. I had no idea ticks could lay that many eggs in several lifetimes, let alone at one time. While I have seen numerous ticks on dogs that stay outside, I had no idea just how big of a problem ticks could be. And after reading this article and finding out about the birth rate of the pests, I wonder why they are not even more of a problem.

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