In Quebec, there are 12 different species of ticks (40 in Canada). Although some of them don’t pose any threats, others carry dangerous viruses. Examples of harmful ticks include the American dog tick and the blacklegged tick. The latter transmits the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.
The risk of encountering ticks and contracting the diseases they carry is increasing for both animals and humans. It is estimated that in Canada, ticks expand their territory by approximately 46 km every year.
Considering how fast they spread, our pest control experts have come up with some useful tips on how to get rid of ticks in your home and yard. Read on to find out more!
How to identify ticks
Ticks come from the same family as spiders and mites. They are a type of arachnid that survives by feeding on the blood of humans and animals. These pests crawl, but do not jump or fly. They cling to their prey at every opportunity.
Ticks vary in size. In fact, in the immature stage, they are tiny and measure less than a millimetre. At this age, they are difficult to see and identify. However, as adults, ticks can measure up to a centimetre, especially when they are gorged with the blood of their prey.
Ticks are generally active when the temperature is between 0°C and 20°C. They commonly appear when the temperature is 4°C or higher. In these conditions, ticks enjoy searching for prey (animal or human) to bite and feed on.
Dangers of ticks
As mentioned earlier, there are two types of ticks that are particularly harmful in Canada. The blacklegged tick and the American dog tick. These ticks can carry diseases that are easily transmissible. These ticks latch onto their prey for long periods of time and can end up giving you or your pet a nasty illness.
The most dangerous of the two in Canada and Quebec is the blacklegged tick. This insect is a vector of Lyme disease, not only for animals, but also for humans. However, if your dog falls victim to this disease, they thankfully can’t transmit it over to you.
If you regularly spend time outdoors with your pet, it is a good idea to regularly check them and yourself for ticks. When you go for a walk, we recommend wearing long clothes that cover your skin.
How to get rid of ticks in your house
Here are 4 tips for eliminating ticks from your home. Give these ideas a go yourself before contacting a pest control exterminator.
1. Deep clean your home
To get rid of ticks, clean your home from top to bottom. This means thoroughly cleaning the furniture as well as the floors. Sweep and mop every nook and cranny, especially if you have pets.
2. Tidy up
After cleaning your home, you should get rid of any clutter. Although most ticks are found outdoors, indoor brown dog tick infestations are still possible. This type of tick feeds on animal blood and prefers warm, dry areas to the outdoors. To make sure ticks don’t enter your home, you should tidy away any items or clothing left lying around.
3. Regularly wash clothes with hot water
If you’re wondering where ticks might be hiding in your home, there could be some lurking amongst your dirty clothes and bed sheets. To keep them at bay, wash your clothes and sheets in hot water.
Be careful: if you think some clothes may be infected with ticks, do not put them in your laundry basket as this will contaminate other clothes. Instead, put them directly into the washing machine.
4. Treat your pets
Pets, particularly dogs, are the number one cause of home tick infestations. They bring ticks into your home by carrying them in from the outside or catching them from other animals.
If you notice ticks on your dog, there are several things you can do to remove them from your pet:
- Physically remove the ticks with tweezers
- Use a tick repellent (before using this kind of product, it is advisable to talk to your vet)
- Purchase repellent devices such as a tick collar
How to get rid of ticks in your yard
Tick season is at its peak in the spring and fall. Nevertheless, ticks don’t magically disappear when summer and winter arrive. With increasingly warmer weather and milder winters due to global warming, ticks are present all year round.
Here are some natural ways to get rid of ticks in your yard.
1. Mow the lawn regularly!
Ticks are often discovered in and amongst tall grass, hedges, and bushes. They are most commonly found near piles of fallen leaves, as that is where they feed! Mowing your yard regularly to remove brush will put ticks off entering your yard, which will help to control their spread.
2. Scatter dry mulch
There are many ways of keeping ticks away that involve using dry mulch. Investing in this product will make your yard look beautiful. It is best to place dry mulch between your yard and driveway and around the edges of any wooden terrasses. This will ensure that ticks have less room to enter your home.
3. Plant fragrant herbs
Fragrant and aromatic plants have a strong repelling effect on certain wild animals. These plants can help you get rid annoying pests like moles, skunks, and most importantly ticks. Plus – it’s a completely natural method!
Here is a list of aromatic herbs to plant in your yard to get rid of ticks:
Contact a professional to get rid of ticks from your home
When it comes to ticks, it’s best to think about prevention more than finding a silver-bullet cure. Focus on applying the advice in this article and seeing how it goes. If you need more guidance, feel free to contact a professional exterminator such as Elite Pest Control.
Our exterminators in Montreal will quickly intervene to get rid of your tick problem so that you and your family can sleep soundly again.