Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Ticks in Your House

March 22, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Ticks can find their way into your home by hitching a ride on pets or people who unknowingly carry ticks on their clothing, shoes, or bags they carry. If this happens, you will want to take measures to address the issue and protect yourselves and your pets from tick bites.

What are ticks?

Ticks are part of the arachnid family and are related to spiders, scorpions, and mites. Ticks crawl, but don’t jump, fly, or drop from trees, contrary to popular belief. Ticks come in all sizes, with the smallest, a nymph, only about the size of a poppy seed. In comparison, an adult female dog tick can be as large as 15 mm in length after feeding

Ticks feed on mammals’ blood and adult ticks grow in size as they become engorged. The ticks that most commonly bite humans are the black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick), the Lone Star Tick, and the American or Brown Dog Tick.

deer tick on skin of human finger

Do ticks spread diseases?

Ticks spread disease by passing along viruses, bacteria, and parasites. When a tick bites, it latches onto the skin and stays there for days, sucking on your or your pet’s blood, becoming engorged with it. While a tick is feeding, any germs in its saliva transmit to the host, spreading disease.

Diseases spread by ticks

Several illnesses can be spread by ticks, but the most common diseases transmitted to humans include:

Lyme Disease: Lyme disease spreads through infected deer tick bites and causes fever, chills, headaches, and a rash. If left untreated, people who contract this disease can develop joint pain, heart palpitations, nerve pain, and brain inflammation.  

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: The American Dog, Brown Dog, and Lone Star ticks spread this disease. Although the initial symptoms include headaches, fever, and nausea, more severe, life-threatening symptoms can occur as the disease progresses.  

How do ticks get into your house? 

Ticks are usually brought into the home on pet fur or clothing after being outdoors. When you garden, play in the yard, or take a walk and brush against tall grass or weeds, ticks can latch onto you, your clothing, or your pet without your knowledge.

Ticks that nest in houses

Most ticks prefer to make their homes outdoors, but the Brown Dog tick is known for infesting homes. Once dogs have carried these ticks indoors, the critters adapt quickly to nest in a home where they have good access to the blood they need. 

The eggs of Brown Dog ticks are dark brown and shaped like a sphere. The tiny larvae measure about 0.54mm long and 0.39mm wide. Adults have four pairs of legs, are reddish-brown, and grow as long as 3.18mm and 1.68mm wide. They have no markings on their backs. Female Brown Dog ticks can grow to about the size of a raisin as they feed. They can lay thousands of eggs after feeding. 

Where ticks lay their eggs in your home

The adult Brown Dog tick might lay her many dark-brown eggs in the cracks or crevices of ceilings, on ledges, and other gaps around a home. After she lays her eggs, the female Brown Dog tick dies. The larvae hatch one to two weeks later, bringing hundreds or thousands more ticks into the home.

female tick carrying freshly laid eggs around with her mouth

Where to look for Brown Dog ticks

Check your dog carefully for these ticks whenever your pet comes home from being outside, at a dog kennel, or a pet groomer’s session. Look carefully for tick eggs, nymphs, or adults on the dog’s head, ears, beneath the collar, and in other areas that are warm and hidden on a dog.

Also, check your dog’s bed and blankets, cleaning them regularly with hot water to keep ticks at bay. Use the clothes dryer on its highest heat setting to kill any ticks that may be hiding.

Brown Dog ticks can gain entry to your home not only on pets but also through small cracks and crevices that are difficult for us to spot. Once ticks enter a house, they will begin laying eggs. A tick infestation in your home can be challenging to control without the help of professionals like Hawx Pest Control.

How to prevent ticks from coming indoors 

To keep ticks from coming into your home, perform thorough tick checks on yourself and your pets after being outdoors. Check your skin, clothing, bags brought in from outdoors, and pets’ fur for the presence of ticks. Use a magnifying glass, as some ticks are very tiny. 

For humans, look carefully anywhere skin folds or where clothes starts–such as behind the ears, on the scalp, around the waist, under the arms, at the sock line, and behind the knees. When checking dogs, look around your pets’ ears, eyelids, beneath the collar, under and between the legs and toes, and around the tail.

When outside, avoid walking through dense bushes or tall grasses where ticks hang out, especially during your local tick season. In most parts of the United States, late March through September is tick season, as these pests can be prevalent throughout the summer and autumn months. The tick season typically ends when temperatures drop below freezing in late Fall. 

Ticks can easily attach to your skin without your feeling them when you brush up against vegetation. To help avoid getting these critters on you and bringing them into your house, wear closed-toe shoes and socks. Use long pants, preferably with the bottoms tucked inside your socks, long-sleeved shirts, and a hat when walking through wooded areas. 

The diseases spread by ticks can be dangerous, so to ensure your safety, contact a professional pest control company if you suspect you have an infestation.

What to do if you find a tick in your house

First, check every person and pet for ticks on skin and clothing. Place all clothes worn before coming indoors into a hot dryer. Doing this helps kill ticks in the house that might be hiding in that clothing.

A deer tick that hasn’t fed yet will only survive indoors for up to 24 hours. However, if a tick is sitting on wet clothing, it can live for a few days. Check damp locations for ticks, as they may hide in these well-suited areas.

Brown Dog ticks actively try to live inside a house where conditions are favorable. If you find a Brown Dog tick in your home, there may be many more if they have laid eggs. If you suspect you have a nest, the best plan of attack is to call professional pest control services.

Close up tick crawling on a fabric

How do you clean ticks out of a room?

If you see a tick, vacuum it up or flush it, then complete a thorough vacuuming of your entire home, including rugs and furniture. Ticks can lay their eggs in various nooks and crannies  throughout the house. Check near baseboards, around windows and doors, and on furniture, rugs, and draperies while vacuuming.

Tick pest control services

Hawx is a leader in the pest control industry, solving your current problems and helping to prevent future infestations from taking place. Our qualified technicians are friendly and prepared to help you manage pests, including ticks. We use modern tools and technologies to address infestations with a customized treatment plan for your needs. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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