Since ticks are not normally an arthropod that infest structures, then precautions while outside will prevent most people from being attacked by ticks. Individuals walking in tick infested areas should avoid sitting on the ground or on logs in brushy areas. Repellents containing high concentrations of permethrin and / or DEET, applied to socks and trouser legs, will provide some protection. Finally, when in areas of high tick infestations, people should always examine their bodies for ticks and remove them when found.
The only species that is likely to infest homes is the brown dog tick. This is because all its stages of the life cycle are spent on the domestic dog.
NON-CHEMICAL TICK MANAGEMENT
Non-chemical tick management procedures include:
- Keepig grass and weeds cut short in tick infested areas. This will increase the possibility of tick desiccation (dying from dehydration or drying), discourages alternate hosts such as rats and mice, and lessen the amount of plant material that may help in a pesticide treatment.
- Removal of clutter and debris to further discourage rodent populations
- Removal of bird nests in and around structures to reduce tick populations, especially soft ticks
- Removal of nesting material left by rodents
- Fencing of yards and leashing dogs to prevent them from roaming into tick infested fields, woods, and parks
- Screening and sealing entry points of other potential hosts such as raccoons and squirrels
- Sealing cracks and crevices where ticks can hide both inside and outside the structure
- Regular examination and grooming of pets
- Frequent cleaning of pet bedding
The pet should be treated at the same time that any structure or exterior treatments are done. This treatment can be done by a veterinarian or by the pet owner. Usually a pyrethrum or pyrithroid pesticide is used and is usually labeled for fleas and ticks. Without treatment of the pet, other treatment will probably be much less effective.
INSIDE RESIDUAL TREATMENTS
Inside pesticide treatments are not usually needed because they rarely infest inside structures. However, occasionally they will, especially the brown dog tick. When it is needed, treatment inside a home can be done with a liquid residual spray should be used. Be sure to remove all toys, pillows, and food dishes off the floor. Pet bedding should be either washed or disposed of. Treatments should concentrate in and around cracks and crevice and near resting areas of pets. Aquariums should be unplugged and covered and pets, including birds, removed. It is recommended that if a tick infestation occurs in the house, you should strongly consider hiring a pest management professional.
OUTSIDE RESIDUAL TREATMENTS
When treating outside, be sure to treat all areas that people and pets might frequent. This includes dog houses, lawns, near fences, shrubs, and siding up to several feet above ground. You should use a pesticide labeled for turf, trees and shrubs to avoid causing damage to these plants. Again, you should consider hiring a pest management professional in order to get a more thorough treatment.
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