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You Found A Tick- Now What?

Author: Mosquito Squad of Waukesha County & Milwaukee North Shore

Ticks can carry harmful diseases such as Lyme Disease.  Ticks are found in your garden and around your home.  Although ticks are usually outdoors, finding ticks in your home may be something you encounter. Ticks feed on humans and animals and prefer warm, dry conditions.  If you find a tick inside, precautions should be taken to prevent further infestation.

  • Pick up all items from the floor. Avoid leaving dirty laundry on the floor. If you suspect any clothes or linens might have ticks, do not put them in the laundry hamper. This will contaminate all the other clothes. Put them straight into the washing machine.  It is suggested that to kill ticks from clothing, wash at a temperature no less than 130 degrees.
  • Clean your entire home thoroughly.  Clean out shelves, dust all corners, sweep, mop, and vacuum all floors.  Your vacuum cleaner will be your best friend during the tick removal process.  Be sure to empty your vacuum canister into a sealed garbage bag and dispose of immediately outside away from the house into a can with a lid.
  • Indoor pets are one source of tick infestations. Dogs can carry ticks in from outdoors, or catch them from other animals in the kennel or the local neighborhood.  Thoroughly check your pet and remove any ticks that are using your animal as a host.  Then treat with a topical tick killing product .  Ask your veterinarian for suggestions.

Now that you’ve removed the threat of ticks inside, look outside and see what preventative measures can be taken.

  • Ticks can usually be found in grassy areas sheltered by trees.  Get rid of any tick friendly foliage. It is best to regularly trim your yard and remove all dead and overgrown vegetation. Mowing the grass allows the sun in and not only keeps the bugs at bay but also evaporates the morning dew quickly, depriving ticks of water.  Don’t allow vegetation and debris to build.  Be sure firewood is stacked in a dry location.  
  • Regularly and thoroughly check yourself and your children.  Please don’t forget to be just as vigilant in checking your pets daily.   
  • If you find a tick, properly remove them with a pair of tweezers.  Be careful not to squeeze the body of an embedded tick.  

Tip:  If you do remove a tick, place in a ziploc bag, label, and put into freezer.  May need it later….