Ticks in House, What to do?

2 April 2018
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Ticks in house: How to get rid of them

If you spotted ticks in house, its time to get educated.

A tick is a wingless bloodsucking acarid arachnid that attaches itself to warm-blooded vertebrates for feeding. Ticks feed on the blood of their hosts, including wild and domestic animals as well as human beings. They are known to carry and spread various diseases like Lyme disease, tularemia, equine encephalitis, babesiosis and anaplasmosis from one host to another through their bites.

Although ticks are mostly found in areas with tall grass as they wait for a passing host to climb on for feeding, they can also be sighted indoors after falling off from their previous hosts. It’s time to beware of ticks since Spring is tick season in New York.

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How Long Do Ticks Survive Indoors

Once a tick drops off in your home, its survival period ranges from minutes to months, depending on its age and nutritional reserves, the frequency of the vacuuming or cleaning of its harborage, the availability of its predators as well as the temperature and humidity of its indoor habitat.

For instance, in case of a deer tick, one of the ticks that are most likely to get to your indoor area, it can live for just several hours (like eight) if it is in an indoor area with a relative humidity of less than 90%. However, even if the relative humidity is more than 90%, the tick is likely to die within 24 hours if it is unfed since it has a small food reserve. On the other hand, a deer tick that’s well fed and is in an indoor place with no predators, such as chickens, cats and centipedes, is likely to remain alive for up to a month.

Fortunately or unfortunately, even with enough food reserve, predator-free environment and favorable relative humidity, the tick may not be able to remain alive even for an hour if its surroundings are cleaned regularly or have some pesticide residues that it might come into contact.

How Do Ticks Get Inside?

Although ticks usually live in outdoor areas, they can get inside your home through people or pets, their main hosts. These pests usually climb tall grass in the woods or yards waiting for a passing animal. When an animal or person brushes against tick-infested grass, some ticks grab onto the host. In the case of a human being, a tick is most likely to attach itself on his or her clothes and then starts making its way toward warm and moist body areas like the armpit and the groin.

In pets, ticks usually penetrate through their fur to get soft body areas to bite. When going back home or other indoor areas, the host (animal or human being) carries along the tick(s). Depending on the species and the stage of the development as well as the host type, a tick will suck blood from the host for a period ranging from several minutes to days. Then the tick will detach itself from the host and fall on the ground. That’s when you’ll spot it crawling or hiding somewhere else in your house.

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How to get rid of tick infestations in your home

  • Check for stray ticks in house on your pets (mostly dogs) and the clothes of any member of your house, including yourself, whenever they come from areas that are vulnerable to tick infestations. If present, kill the ticks physically or spray the affected pet and clothes with an eco-friendly and appropriate pesticide.
  • Repair and fill in all crevices and gaps that ticks may use as hideouts or entryways to your house.
  • Regular vacuuming and cleaning of areas susceptible to pest infestations, especially where your dog rests.
  • Regular trimming of the grass surrounding your house.

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It is important to keep a tick infestation at your home in check, otherwise, it might turn problematic to wipe out.  Be sure to take note of these tips and apply them to get rid of these bugs from your home.