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A tick infestation in your home is a formidable problem that may leave you discouraged. With the ability to hide in floor cracks and live for an extended time without food, ticks are both hard to find and difficult to eradicate. Pets most often bring ticks into the home so eradication efforts should focus on keeping animals tick-free. The following tips will help you as you attempt tick removal in your Arizona home.
Try to detect the source of the infestation. If you have a pet, inspect it daily and remove any ticks you find. The brown dog tick is most likely to cause an infestation and often attaches to a dog's ears or between its toes. Use eyebrow tweezers to gently and slowly remove the tick. Apply pressure and gently pull the tick away from the skin until the tick releases its mouth from your pet's skin. Wash the wound, your hands and the tweezers with antiseptic.
Spray your pet with cedar oil several times a day. Cedar oil repels ticks, yet is safe for your pets.
Clean carpets, furniture and fabric. Steam-clean carpeting and furniture, including all the beds. Washable fabrics should be laundered in soapy, hot water. If you take any fabrics to the dry cleaners, be sure to tell them that you are treating a tick infestation. Don't forget to wash your pet's bedding.
Vacuum your house thoroughly daily. In addition to vacuuming the carpets of your home, use the crevice tool to vacuum everything including floorboards, curtains and furniture. Vacuum the back of the furniture. Don't forget to vacuum your pet's bedding. Discard vacuum bags and debris in a sealed plastic bag and remove it from the home immediately.
Spray cedar oil in your home daily. Spray every area that you vacuumed. Spray cracks in floorboards, non-upholstered surfaces and under furniture.
Keep your pet off furniture. If possible, limit your pet's access to areas of your home. Encourage your pet to only lie down on its bedding.
Keep your pet's bedding clean. Bedding should be washed at least once a week. Cedar shavings stuffed inside pet beds will repel ticks. If your pet uses an outdoor dog house, fill it with fresh cedar shavings weekly.
Reduce ticks in your yard. Keep the grass cut very short. Remove brush piles and leaf litter. If possible, remove bushes and trees to increase sunlight.
Continue your efforts. An adult tick can live up to 18 months without feeding. In its lifetime, a female can lay up to 3,000 eggs. Your success in overcoming the infestation depends on your continued efforts.
- red fuzzy bug image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com