Are there home remedies for...
Need help with a pest problem?
The truth about
To begin with, ticks don’t infest the insides of buildings. If they manage to attach themselves to you or the skin of your dog, they’ll find themselves inside your house by sheer happenstance alone. So you don’t have to worry about an invasion of bloodsuckers within your walls, breeding numbers and getting ready to invade when you least expect.
That said, once they get inside your home, they can easily hide. Which means, if you see one, you’ll want to get rid of it straightaway. If you DO have pets and you’ve seen ticks in your home, you’ll want to start by vacuuming everything in and around where they sleep (pet bedding). Make sure you immediately throw away the vacuum bag once your initial cleaning spree is complete.
The good news is that if you do happen to find ticks on your bedding or linen, they can be fairly easily killed by throwing the affected fabric into your dryer. There’s no need to wash them first, as the dryer is what will most immediately kill them. If you’d like to wash your linens as well (and we understand the impulse given this particular pest), you’ll be best served by drying first, THEN washing and drying as you normally would. Ticks will dehydrate rapidly within a dryer on a high enough setting.
Only under the cleanest of scenarios (everything is thoroughly, and regularly, vacuumed, washed and dried) will any sort of home remedy such as an essential oil have a chance of working. And to be frank, there is little proof that they work at all beyond functioning as minor irritants.
Do we know anything about home remedies?
Regardless of the type of “natural remedy” being used to keep ticks at an arms length, no essential oils have ever been proven through any sort of scientific rigor to be an actual pest solution. Sometimes people will promote peppermint, garlic oil, or lemongrass. The reality is, these oils have only ever been evaluated on their overall safety near humans. Not on their effectiveness as actual pest repellents.
Because ticks live primarily outdoors (unless through happenstance), you’ll have a far greater impact on reducing the number of ticks in your immediate vicinity by focusing your attention on your yard. Not on tinctures concocted within your kitchen like an alchemist from the 1700s.
More common sense approaches, such as removing leaf litter and frequently mowing your lawn, are likely to carry a far greater impact. The thing to keep in mind is that ticks are hitchhikers, so whatever you can do to keep other pests at bay will help you to keep ticks away.
The most prominent pest associated with ticks is perhaps the rodent. Whether mice or rats, rodents provide an easy means of travel for ticks looking for a quick blood meal. By removing places mice and rats congregate (such as damp woodpiles), you’ll also be eliminating places ticks can congregate.
Additionally, creating a 3 foot wood chip barrier at the perimeter of your yard will keep ticks away. They don’t like to walk on wood chips, and so will naturally avoid this type of substance.
What should I do next?
Give us a call at (269) 424-3458. We’d be happy to walk you through both the removal AND prevention process. Once we’ve eliminated the pest problem, you’ll want to make sure you eliminate any of the other pests that potentially brought them there in the first place. Things like wood piles next to the house, open trashcans near access points, any mounds of damp soil, etc. This will obviously vary depending upon the building and particular landscape, but the idea is to a) cut off access points and b) remove open access to discarded food items that might lure tick hitchhikers via rodents.
We’re here to assist! Give us a call at (269) 424-3458!