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How To Get Rid Of Ticks In The House

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that can cause some serious health problems in your pets. Tick paralysis in dogs is a serious concern, as are diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesiosis.

The problem is that because ticks don’t jump around like fleas do, or cause itching like flea bites, their presence can sometimes go unnoticed. It can sometimes take your pet to show signs of illness before you realize you have a tick infestation problem in your home.

The peak season for tick activity is from April through to September. They tend to be at their most active in late summer, fall, and even winter. However, as long as the temperature is above freezing, there is always a likelihood that your pet will be infected by a tick.

Can you find ticks indoors?

First, the good news. A good many species of ticks don’t or are unable to, live inside your home. Deer ticks especially, don’t live for more than 24 hours indoors.

Even better, many types of ticks, such as American dog ticks or lone star ticks, actually prefer to lay their eggs on the soil surface and choose not to reproduce indoors. This means you won’t be facing an infestation any time soon with those types of ticks.

The bad news, however, is that there are some 900 different types of ticks in the world and 90 of them live right here in the United States. So if your pet happens to have picked up a tick while it was out and about, there are two possible scenarios.

One is that you may end up having to research how to get rid of ticks in the yard (hyperlink). The other possibility is that your pet may bring home a species of tick that actually likes being indoors.

The most common indoor tick is the brown dog tick. This species of tick can comfortably live inside the house (or a dog kennel) and even complete its entire life cycle there.

Brown dog ticks are particularly prevalent in colder climates or environments considered too harsh for most ticks because they have this ability to live indoors.

While brown dog ticks mostly prefer dogs as hosts, they will sometimes also infect cats and can cause Ehrlichia. Animals with Ehrlichia can experience fever, develop neurological and eye disorders, and even die.

How to get rid of ticks in the house

Some of the strategies to get rid of ticks in the house can be very similar to finding out how to get rid of fleas in the house.

Vacuum

Like fleas, ticks love to hide in the nooks and crannies of your home. This means it is extremely easy to miss the fact a tick is setting up home and reproducing in your home until it is much too late.

So give your house a thorough vacuum, paying special attention to crevices and gaps—any tiny, dark and forgotten spot of the house. Then turn your focus to where your pet loves to spend most of its time.

Vacuum at least once a day until you are sure you have successfully killed all the ticks in the house.

Sealants

As mentioned, ticks love nooks and crannies. So if you can both seal up the gaps, so no ticks can escape out, and seal off your home, so no ticks can find their way in, you have a good chance of fighting this tick infestation.

Dry

Ticks don’t like dry and hot environments. If possible, pop all your linen, pet’s bedding, and toys in a dryer and set on high. Do not wash anything beforehand as this will create wet heat when you throw the items in the dryer. The idea is to create a thoroughly dry atmosphere for ticks to kill them.

Wash the items after they have been in the dryer for at least 15 minutes, then, if you prefer, pop them back in the dryer to dry them.

Sprays

If you are facing a particularly tough tick infestation, there are tick sprays that you can use to convincingly kill ticks in the house. They are easy to use and have high success rates—some last for as long as two weeks.

However, sprays, in large concentrations, and if not used carefully, can harm pets and young children, so use them with care. Most importantly, make sure they are completely dry before you allow pets and young children back in the house.

How to get rid of ticks on your pet

You can’t successfully get rid of ticks in the house without spending some time on your dog or cat. If you are facing a tick infestation, there is a high chance your pet will be hosting one, if not several, ticks.

Ticks love to burrow into the hard-to-reach spots of your pet, so make sure you look through your dog or cat carefully, paying special attention to their heads and ears.

It may be a good idea to pay a visit to the veterinarian if you are particularly concerned about tick bites on your pet. However, you can also try to get rid of ticks yourself.

To do so, remove ticks with a special tick removal tool or a pair of tweezers. Grab the tick by its head and not its body, in order to cleanly remove all parts of the tick from your pet. Pull straight up and away from your pet’s skin, making sure not to twist.

Your pet may still have the potential to fall ill if you unwittingly leave the tick’s head or parts of its mouth behind, so inspect your pet’s skin carefully after removal. Then clean the area with soap and water.

Don’t kill the removed tick with your bare hands as diseases can be spread that way. Instead, you can simply drop the tick in a little bit of alcohol. Keep its carcass in a sealed container for a few days, and monitor your pet, just in case you need to pay a visit to the veterinarian.

Looking for ticks, however, can be a rather tedious affair, so it’s probably not the preferred method if you are trying to get rid of a tick infestation.

Tick and flea medications and preventatives

Use tick preventative medications regularly, both to kill ticks your pet may currently be hosting, as well as to protect them from any possible future infestations. The added benefit about tick preventative medications is that they also kill and repel fleas in your pet.

Bravecto is one of the market’s leading flea and tick treatment. It comes in both chewable form and as a topical spot-on, which means it is a perfect preventative for both dogs and cats. Unlike most other flea and tick treatment which needs to be used monthly, Bravecto offers up to 12 weeks of protection (8 weeks for lone star tick).

Frontline Plus is a topical treatment that kills fleas and ticks (and also repels mosquitoes) and should be used monthly on both cats and dogs. Topical treatments may require you to apply the medication directly onto your pet, which may not be preferred by some, but it is very beneficial for pets who refuse to swallow or chew tablets.

Frontline Plus protects your pet against all stages of the American dog tick, lone star tick, black-legged (deer) tick, and brown dog tick. It can be used on puppies and kittens 8 weeks of age or older.

Collars are extremely useful especially during the summer months, when both flea and tick activities are at their highest. The Seresto flea collar offers long-lasting flea and tick protection (up to 8 months), and prevents tick infestations within 48 hours of wearing. To use, put it around your pet’s neck as you would a pet collar, with just enough room to fit two fingers under the collar (the collar needs to make contact with your pet’s skin to be effective).

Preventing future tick infestations

There is always a possibility of repeat infestations even if you have successfully killed all the ticks in your house. A few simple preventative measures can help.

Check your pet

Give your pet a regular check to ensure their health is at optimal condition. Habitually do a visual and tactile inspection on your pet to ensure there aren’t any ticks lurking in their fur, especially after walks or hikes in heavily wooded or infested areas.

Flea and tick preventatives

Flea and tick medication such as Bravecto and Frontline Plus are designed to be used regularly, not only when you are trying to get rid of ticks in the house.

Used as directed, be it monthly or 12-weekly, you will give your pet all year protection, dramatically reducing any chance of tick or flea infestations in the house.


How To Get Rid Of Ticks In The House

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