10 ways to keep your pets (and your home) tick-free

November 12, 2014

Any time your pets spend outdoors can increase their exposure to ticks and tick-borne diseases. Find out what you can do to protect your furry friends, your home and your loved ones this summer.

10 ways to keep your pets (and your home) tick-free

1. Protect your pet

Use a pesticide in the late spring/early summer to reduce your outdoor tick population.

  • If ticks are of real concern to you, you can get a tick preventative to use on your pet. These come in different forms, including tick collars, sprays and powders.
  • You can have your pet “dipped” by applying a chemical on their fur using a cloth, sponge or cotton swab.
  • Other topical applications to rid your pet of ticks include tick sprays, shake-on powders and tick collars to keep ticks away from your pet’s head and neck area.

2. Keep things tidy

  • Keep firewood stacked in a dry location to prevent ticks from enjoying a safe haven there.
  • Regularly clean out any bird feeders, including beneath them, as this is also a place ticks tend to make a cozy home.

3. Clean up the yard

Outdoors, you can keep your grass, bushes, vines, weeds and other plants neatly trimmed to discourage ticks from moving in.

  • Don’t let dead leaves pile up since ticks will thrive there, especially if you’ve already cut back their other natural habitats.
  • Fencing your yard will keep out other animals that may be carrying ticks.

4. Keep your home clutter-free

  • Prevent ticks from getting into your home by washing your dirty laundry in hot water and keeping your home as clutter-free as possible.
  • You can dust with a pesticide spray, especially around your pet’s bed, over your carpets and curtains, and underneath your furniture.

5. Give Fido a bath

  • Give your pet regular baths, at least once a week.
  • You can find anti-tick shampoos that are specifically designed to kill ticks.

6. Head to the vet

  • You can have your veterinarian check your pet for ticks during their next exam.
  • Your vet is also a good resource to find out how bad tick-borne diseases are in your local area.

7. Do a daily tick check

If your pets are going to be outdoors, check them daily for ticks. If you find any ticks, remove them immediately.

8. Check yourself

Just as you check your pets for ticks daily, also check yourself and your children for them.

9. Make your own repellent

Try making your own natural tick repellent:

  • Use two cups of water and two chopped lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit (either alone or combined).
  • Once you’ve strained the fruit and boiled the water, add the mixture into a sprayer and spray yourself, your kids, your pets and your yard – ticks hate the smell of citrus.
  • Other natural repellents include lavender, peppermint and geranium oils.

10. Get the right preventative medicine

Ask your vet about monthly pills that act on ticks of all stages (eggs, larvae, pupae and adults). These can sometimes be more effective than spot-on treatments.

Tick bites can be hard to detect after a bite because they are so small when they first attach to your pet's skin. What's more, symptoms of tick-borne diseases usually don’t appear until seven to 21 days after your pet has already been bitten, so be sure to check your pet regularly.

With these preventative tips, you can help keep your pets and your family safe during tick season.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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