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Chemical-Free Steps to Zapping a Tick Infestation

Tips and Easy Steps to Rid Your Home of These Pests

By Jesse Feldman. August 20, 2013 | See Comments

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Chemical-Free Steps to Zapping a Tick Infestation

Ticks are disease carrying pests that no pet parent wants to deal with, whether on their pet or hanging around their yard. Here are some helpful "green" tips and tricks on how to get rid of a tick infestation without having to use harsh chemicals.

You probably already know that ticks are disease-carrying arachnids that can be harmful to both you and your pets. And you also know to regularly check your pet’s body when they come inside from a walk in the woods or if you live in tick-heavy areas, carefully and quickly removing any stowaways. But ticks and their eggs spread quickly, and with the right environmental factors, pet owners can find themselves with a tick infestation on their hands. This article will give easy step-by-step instructions on clearing up tick problems in your yard or home.

7 Easy (and Chemical-Free) Steps to Get Rid of Ticks Indoors

Although they prefer laying their eggs outside in soil, many types of ticks can thrive indoors. Fortunately, an indoor tick infestation can be cleared up without using dangerous chemical sprays or foggers:

1. First, regularly check and treat your pet for ticks. This will stop your pet from re-introducing the insects into the home.

2. Vacuum! Use a HEPA filter vacuum in all areas your pet frequents, paying special attention to the areas where your pet sleeps, and to baseboards and window frames. Vacuum at least once a day in high pet traffic areas until all signs of the ticks are gone.

TIP: If you have a major tick problem, dispose of the vacuum bag in a bin away from the house immediately after your first cleaning. This will prevent any eggs from hatching inside.

3. Turn up the steam! If you have thick carpeting and a recurring tick problem, consider investing in a steam cleaner or hiring a professional carpet cleaner. The hot steam will penetrate the fibers and help kill eggs and larvae. A steamer can also be used safely on many fabric sofas, which could harbor tick eggs if your pet often rests on the furniture.

TIP: Steam cleaners can be rented by the hour in many areas, for a low cost DIY option.

4. Wash your pet’s bedding in hot, soapy water. Dry on high temperatures, if possible.

5. Caulk and seal cracks in baseboards and window frames so ticks have no place to hide or lay eggs. Also check around the perimeter of your house for any cracks or entry points that should be sealed.

6. Ticks prefer damp air, so try running dehumidifiers and fans in the house to create a more hostile environment.

7. Keep in mind that some tick eggs can take up to 30 days to hatch, so it’s important to continue follow up treatments to break their cycle.

5 Steps to Clearing Up an Outdoor Tick Infestation

If you have a tick problem inside your house, the tick population outside might also be high. Creating a hostile tick environment in your yard will benefit both your outdoor pets and your family. Here’s how to keep ticks from flourishing in your yard:

1. Dress for the job. Put on light colored clothing, with pants tucked into high socks. You’ll make up for the fashion faux pas by being able to spot any ticks that try to jump onto you and remove them before they can bite. Now you can start landscaping a yard ticks will stay out of.

2. Tidy up! Ticks thrive in shady, overgrown areas, so keep the grass trimmed short in your yard, especially in areas you and your pets frequent.

3. Don’t allow debris or leaves to sit all over the yard, especially close to the house. Keep wood piles and compost heaps set off from your regularly-trod walkways.

4. Discourage other animal tick carriers, like deer and rodents, from entering your property. This could involve installing a fence or just choosing plant varieties that won’t attract wildlife.

TIP: If you have a fence, check its edges and grooves regularly for hiding ticks and treat accordingly. Insecticide spot treatments might become necessary.

5. If your property borders a wooded area, consider adding a woodchip or gravel barrier to keep the pests from jumping over to your lawn.

TIP: Live in the country and have indoor-only pets? A unique tick control method is adding guinea fowl to your acreage. They’ll happily feast on ticks who cross their path.

Follow these steps and your home and yard will soon be safe for your family and your pets once more!

More on Ticks

What Do Ticks Look Like?
How To Stop Ticks
How To Get Rid of a Tick
Tickitude Survey: Pet Parents' Concerns About Ticks On Pets

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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Tick Infestations at a glance

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  • 1Most ticks prefer to lay eggs outside, but some will infest indoors.
  • 2Treat your pet for ticks, then clean their beds and favorite areas, then vacuum and steam clean.
  • 3Making your yard inhospitable to ticks will keep them away.
  • 4Tick eggs can take 30 days to hatch, so keep up your efforts for a few weeks so you get all the interlopers.