How to Get Rid of Ticks

By Amanda Lutz Updated July 2, 2024

If you’ve discovered tick bites on yourself or your pets and have seen other traces of ticks in your yard, take immediate action, as ticks are bearers of Lyme disease and other health risks. Whether you’re dealing with a full-blown tick infestation or want to employ a few tick prevention strategies, this guide will explain how to get rid of ticks from your yard so you can protect family members and pets.

What Are Ticks?

Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They’re common in many parts of the United States and have small, round bodies and long, spindly legs. They can live all year but are most prevalent in the summer and early fall.

You can find ticks in tall grass and heavily wooded areas. They typically latch on to carriers, such as deer, dogs, and mice, and they can live in almost any type of climate but prefer warm environments. They’re also resistant to many pesticides.

How to Identify Ticks

Due to the prevalence of tick-borne illness in many parts of the world, it’s important to identify ticks as soon as possible. While nearly 90 species of ticks are in North America alone, a few varieties are especially common. The deer tick, American dog tick, lone Star tick, and brown dog tick all carry diseases and are typically the primary source of a tick infestation.

Any of these varieties of ticks can transmit diseases to humans or pets. If you see ticks in your yard or anywhere on your property, try to identify the type of tick so you can start tick prevention and tick treatments immediately.

Tick-Borne Diseases

Tick-borne illnesses can run the gamut from serious conditions requiring ongoing monitoring by a healthcare professional to issues that can be resolved relatively quickly with medication and proper treatment. Here are a few of the most common tick-borne illnesses and their symptoms:

If you notice a tick bite on you and suspect you have one of these conditions, seek medical attention immediately.

How to Inspect Your Yard for Ticks

If you suspect you might have ticks or find a tick on yourself or a pet, perform a thorough inspection of your yard. Check common tick habitats, including tall grass, wooded areas, and brushy spots. You can use a white cloth or white piece of paper and slowly drag it across the vegetation to reveal any ticks. Additionally, check children or pets for ticks after they spend time in the yard and don’t forget to check yourself before returning indoors.

Always inspect play areas and outdoor play equipment for signs of a tick infestation. While ticks don’t build nests, you might find areas where immature ticks, such as larvae and nymphs, group together. Keep track of any ticks you find and mark their appearance so you can better track the infestation and take the appropriate steps to remove them.

Tick Removal Methods

The best way to get rid of ticks is by utilizing a variety of methods. Do-it-yourself (DIY) and professional strategies can help you get rid of a tick infestation and restore your yard to normal.

DIY Tick Removal

One effective DIY tick removal strategy is to spray a tick pesticide that reduces the tick population in your yard. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before spraying, and keep the pesticide away from children and pets.

You can also apply a layer of food-grade diatomaceous earth around your yard perimeter. This is typically safe to use around people and pets, but it’s still important to follow the label instructions carefully. Additionally, treating tick hosts can kill ticks on a much smaller scale. For this method, you can set up tick box control systems that kill mice, which are common carriers for ticks. You can also use a deer feeding station covered in permethrin, a powerful tick-killing agent.

Professional Tick Removal

Professional tick removal is an effective solution that’s best for large-scale tick infestations. If you don’t have the time to devote to DIY methods or want to quickly get rid of ticks on your property, this is the best option. Professional tick removal grants you access to commercial-grade products, treatments that come with a warranty, and guaranteed results.

Professional pest control and removal is more expensive than DIY methods, but the overall cost will depend on the size of your yard, the size of the tick infestation, and the treatments used.

How to Prevent Ticks in Your Yard

After treating ticks around your property, you can use a few prevention methods to keep ticks at bay. Here are a few ways to prevent ticks in your yard:

Our Recommendation

Ticks can cause a variety of health issues in both humans and pets. If you find a tick on yourself, in your yard, or on a pet, identify what type it is and use a few different pest control methods to remove ticks from your property and prevent the spread of disease. A combination of DIY and professional methods typically yields the best results. After treatment, employ prevention methods to prevent tick infestations and enjoy a safe, comfortable outdoor space.

How to Get Rid of Ticks FAQ

What kills ticks instantly?

Natural remedies such as eucalyptus oil, rubbing alcohol, and apple cider vinegar can kill ticks instantly. If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, use tweezers to remove it, and submerge it in rubbing alcohol to kill it.

How long can a tick live in your house?

Most ticks can’t live in a house longer than 24 hours. However, a tick can live for up to a few days in your house if humidity levels are 90% or higher.

Can ticks infest a house?

Yes, ticks can infest a house, especially if pets are present. If you suspect ticks are in your house, use a combination of DIY and professional pest control measures to manage the infestation.

Do ticks lay eggs on humans?

Ticks don’t lay eggs on humans. However, they can lay eggs in your carpet, bedding, and other areas where a host is present.

What time of day are ticks most active?

Ticks are active at all parts of the day, but they might be more active in the morning or afternoon, depending on the species of tick.