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Ticked off: how to tackle a tick infestation in the house

Discovered ticks at home? Don’t panic! We have an easy guide for dealing with a tick infestation at home.


person planting at risk of ticks

Reading time: 5 minutes

Key steps

  • Repel ticks with chamomile and lemon.

  • Use tick shampoo on your pet.

  • Wash bedding and blankets thoroughly.

  • Vacuum clean regularly.

  • Use an insecticide, ground feeding birds or food-grade diatomaceous earth in your yard.

  • Create a gravel barrier if you have woodland nearby.

Though some tick bites are harmless and can only cause minor redness, other tick bites can transmit illnesses as serious as Lyme disease. Needless to say, that if you have a pooch, you need to double your attention when it comes to preventing tick infestation as ticks can be fatal for a dog. Find out the best way to get rid of ticks in your house and garden as well as what to do when you're facing an infestation.

If in doubt, or in the case of a serious infestation, call in pest control. They’ll be able to provide professional services to remove ticks from your yard and home.

How to deal with a tick infestation in-house

There are a few easy ways to help you deal with a tick infestation. To get rid of ticks at home will be just as easy as our guide on how to get rid of fleas, flies and mosquitoes. Here's how:

  • Vacuum clean the surfaces of your home including carpets, armchairs, door and window frames and any other corners which ticks may have escaped to.

  • Spray insecticide throughout your home.

  • Try a home remedy. There are a few tried and tested home remedies for ticks:

    1. Chamomile infusion. Did you know that ticks are scared off by the scent of chamomile? Simply boil water and chamomile, allow the infusion to cool, then use a cloth soaked in the infusion to wet the dog.

    2. Lemon. This is another natural repellent. Mix the juice of 2-3 lemons in a cup with a little water. Add this mix to a spray bottle and spray on your dog.

    3. Apple cider vinegar. Mix water and apple cider vinegar and, in the same way as using chamomile, use a cloth soaked in the mix to wet your dog.

  • Invest in a specialised shampoo which can be purchased at the vet to bathe your pet.

  • Always take care when removing ticks. You can use tweezers, but you don’t want to leave any part of the tick behind.

  • Don’t forget to wash your pet’s bedding, towels and blankets. Always use the maximum temperature, to eliminate any tick larva which may remain.

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Steps to deal with a tick infestation in the yard

Even if you don’t have a pet, it's still possible to discover a tick infestation, especially in the yard – ticks love to reside in warm, earthy, humid spots.

In this case, try to:

  • Keep an eye out for them in the milder dry weather.

  • Use a tick insecticide. Check with the store assistant if you are unsure which type you will need for your garden.

  • Introduce a bird or two to your garden. Ground feeding birds such as chickens and ducks are great for tick pest control.

  • Purchase some food-grade diatomaceous earth. This natural powder dehydrates the ticks, preventing them from becoming a problem.

Top tips for tick prevention

Whilst it's good to know the signs of a tick infestation and what to do in case your home is infested, prevention is key! Here are a few ways you can keep these pests at bay:

  • Always wear bug repellent when you leave the house, so you don’t pick ticks up and bring them home.

  • Don’t forget to clear away fallen leaves regularly, and mow your lawn, to avoid giving ticks a place to hide.

  • Is your home near a woodland? Create a tick barrier by placing gravel or bark chips between your lawn and the woodland area. This will stop them making their way into your garden.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on dealing with a tick infestation

Why do I have ticks in my house

A tick infestation can happen if just one tick makes it into your home. Ticks like moist, humid conditions and can attach themselves to you if you brush against them in wooded or bushy areas. They lay eggs near baseboards, window and door surrounds, furniture, edges of rugs, and curtains. This can quickly lead to an infestation if undetected and untreated.

Bed bug bite vs. tick bite: What's the difference?

The main difference of a bed bug bite vs tick bite is that a bed bug is a repeat offender. Bed bugs will bite you anywhere it can reach skin. Ticks, on the other hand, prefer warm, moist areas such as armpits and groins. Once it latches on, it will try to bury itself into the skin.

How fast do ticks reproduce?

Ticks can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to hatch from their eggs, which may make you think that they are slow at reproducing. However, each tick nest can contain hundreds – or even thousands – of eggs, so once they hatch you can quickly end up with an infestation.

How long can a tick live in your house?

How long ticks survive depends solely on whether or not they are fed. An unfed tick will meet its demise within 24 hours, and even one which has recently fed is unlikely to survive longer than 2-3 days without the correct conditions.

How do you treat ticks on dogs?

If you're wondering how to treat ticks in dogs, you will need tweezers and disinfectant and possibly a little help from a friend if your dog is likely to wriggle. Using the tweezers, grasp the head of the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can. Pull upward in a firm, steady motion. Once the tick has been removed, be sure to apply a disinfectant to the area in order to prevent infection. We recommend iodine.

Originally published