Ticks: How To Kill Them

Ticks: How To Kill Them

Ticks are not just uncomfortable to have on your skin, but they can also spread disease. They are most famous for spreading Lyme Disease, but there are others that they can also carry. These include tick paralysis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and St. Louis encephalitis. Because of this, killing ticks is a matter of maintaining your health and safety.

Alcohol Kills Ticks

The easiest way to kill a tick is to put the tick in some alcohol. Just pour a bit of alcohol into a container, then drop the tick into the container. It should die fairly quickly.

Use Heat

Heat kills ticks as well. However, wet heat doesn’t always kill them. This means that if you have ticks on your clothes, you can run them through your dryer without putting them in the washing machine first. The dryer cycle should kill the ticks. Then, you can wash and dry your clothes as normal.

How To Kill Ticks In Your Yard

Using alcohol to kill ticks works if you are only dealing with one or two. If, however, your yard seems to have a lot of them, you will want to try another method.

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How to Test for Ticks

To easily confirm that you have a tick problem in your yard, attach a 5-inch square of fabric to a long pole. Drag this over the tall grass (make sure to wear pants while doing this so no ticks attach themselves to you). You can also run it over wooded areas or overgrown plants. You will probably see at least a few ticks on the fabric if you have a problem.

How to Kill the Ticks

If there are ticks in your yard, you have a few options. The best choice will be to hire a professional exterminator, as this is a fairly large area. If you have ticks in your yard, you likely have a problem that is out of your control but you may wonder what does Aptive cover?

You can also use diatomaceous earth to kill ticks on your property. Sprinkling this around the perimeter or even on your grass will work. The sharp edges of the DE cuts ticks’ exoskeletons, causing them to die.

Don’t Squish Ticks Using Your Fingers

You may see some suggestions to kill ticks by squishing them. If you do this, do NOT do it with your fingers. This still puts you at risk of contracting a tick-borne disease. Even using a pair of tweezers to squish them is a problem, as it can squeeze the infectious germs out. That is part of the reason that you should always use tweezers with pointy tips to remove an attached tick instead of those with wide tips.

Because of the risk of disease, it is best to opt for a different method than squishing ticks to kill them.

You should also make it a point to wear disposable gloves anytime you have to touch a tick, but it is best to avoid touching them at all.

Don’t Flush Them

You should never assume that flushing a tick down the toilet will kill it. Most ticks will survive the journey and live to attach to another person or animal. As such, only flush them down the toilet when they are already dead.

How To Prevent Ticks

Killing ticks works, but there is still a risk of disease if they bite you. You can avoid issues by preventing ticks in the first place.

Preventing Them on Your Property

Preventing ticks on your property starts with mowing your lawn regularly. If your grass gets too long, ticks will have plenty of shade. They like these shady, cooler spots. Cutting the grass removes those spots, keeping ticks away.

You can also try applying mulch on parts of your property. This is especially smart if your yard is next to a wooded area that is not maintained. That area will likely have ticks, but laying mulch between your yard and that area can prevent them from moving onto your property. Ideally, you want to lay about three feet of mulch.

Yet another option is to spray cedar oil or garlic on your yard. Ticks don’t like these smells, so they will avoid them. As a bonus, ticks are frequently carried by deer, and the deer also don’t like that smell, so they won’t accidentally bring ticks.

Preventing Them on You and Your Family

To keep ticks off of you, plan ahead when you know you will be somewhere that may have ticks. This means using bug spray and wearing long pants and long sleeves when possible. If you go through a hike or enjoy another activity in an area with ticks, check for the insects afterward. You may not always notice right away if a tick bites you.

Preventing Them on Your Pets

To keep ticks off your pets, treat them regularly with preventative treatments. Many of the treatments to prevent fleas also prevent ticks.

As with humans, be sure to check your pet for ticks after exploring a tick-infested area.