Natural Flea and Tick Prevention

Have you ever heard of the “Fall Crawl”? While the overall bug population might increase in the summer, pests like ticks, fleas, and stink bugs tend to peak in the fall. What makes things worse is, as the temperatures cool, they also try to move inside your house! But don’t worry–we’ve got a solution for natural flea and tick prevention for your house and your yard.

Natural Flea & Tick Prevention in the Home

yard guard natural flea and tick preventionIf temperatures are still averaging over 50F, you’ll want to treat your yard and the foundations of your home with our all natural pest control solution, Yard Guard. The all natural cedar oil in Yard Guard will not only repel fleas, ticks, ants, and stink bugs, but will also kill many of those bugs on contact, as well as killing any eggs they may have laid on your property. Yard Guard is safe to use on shrubs, trees, and garden beds as well. Spray your entire yard and the foundation of your home with Yard Guard to build up a cedar oil barrier in the soil that will make your property the last place on earth these pests want to hang out.

If you’ve already noticed some of these bugs inside your house, you can make an indoor spray by diluting Yard Guard in a quart spray bottle at a ratio of 1 part Yard Guard to 2 parts water, or 1:1 if you want it even stronger. For natural pest control at home, use this non-staining formula to spray the window sills, door frames, and baseboards of your house, or any other area where you’ve seen the little buggers.

TIP: For more natural flea and tick prevention, you can spray this on your hands and rub it on your dog before going for a walk for extra protection against fleas and ticks!

How to Check For Ticks

Hiking, camping, dog-walking–any outdoor activity, especially those in or around tall grass, can end up making you a host to a tick. It’s important to check both yourself and your pet for ticks after engaging in any activity that might have exposed you to these parasites. Ranging from the size of a pinhead to 2/3 of an inch, ticks can be brown or red, even white and blue-green (especially after feeding). Ticks can easily go unnoticed, so when checking for ticks, it’s crucial to take your time and be thorough.

For Pets: Slowly brush your fingers through their fur, looking for any unusual bumps or lumps on or near the skin. Ticks particularly enjoy hiding in dark, warm locations, so be sure to check on and within your pet’s’ ears, between toes, under armpits, and under or near their tail

For People: Pay close attention to these areas: armpits, ears, belly button, scalp, around the waist, back of knees, crotch, thighs, and in between toes and fingers.

How to Safely Remove A Tick

Tick bites can range from mild nuisance to serious medical condition. And while most tick bites are harmless, on rare occasions, tick bites can transmit serious illnesses like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, relapsing fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis (and even more in pets). Ticks can stay attached to their host for days, even weeks, after the initial bite. The longer a tick stays attached to you or your pet, the higher the chances are of contracting an illness or other infection (ticks removed within 36 hours rarely cause disease or infection.) In other words, if you or your pet gets bitten by a tick, you need to remove it as soon as possible.

Get the Proper Equipment:

  • Latex gloves
  • Pointed-tip Tweezers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A Zip lock bag
  • Soap & water

Put On Gloves

As mentioned above, ticks carry various infectious diseases. When removing a tick, it’s not uncommon (though it should be avoided) for the parasite to become damaged, spilling blood and other fluids in the process. To avoid having these potentially hazardous fluids seep into a crack or sore in the skin, it’s best to be cautious and always use gloves when handling or removing a tick.

Remove The Tick

There are countless myths and old wives’ tales concerning how to remove a tick—some involve burning the parasite with a match, others advocate suffocation with solutions like alcohol and even peanut butter. However, most of these tips are incorrect and, if used, can actually lead to additional complications like infection. Instead, follow these simple steps to properly and safely remove a tick (the process is the same for both animals and humans):

Using pointed tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin surface as possible; this usually means grabbing the tick by its mouthparts. Avoid squeezing or damaging the tick in any way—when harmed or irritated, ticks can expel infectious bodily fluids into the bloodstream of their hosts.

Slowly and carefully pull directly upward. Do not twist or yank the tick. With steady pressure, you should be able to remove the entire tick intact.

If the tick’s mouthparts break off in the skin, attempt to carefully remove them. If this cannot be done easily, stop trying and leave them inside. Monitor the site and consult a medical professional if you spot any signs of infection.

After removal, thoroughly clean and disinfect the bite site with soap & water or rubbing alcohol.

Disposing of Ticks

Place the removed tick in a ziplock bag; it will eventually suffocate and die. You may wish to save the tick for up to two weeks—in the event you or your pet begin showing signs of illness, you may want to have the tick identified or tested for disease by a professional.

Over the next two weeks, observe the bite site for any signs of disease or infection, like rashes, swelling, tenderness or redness. Consult a medical professional if such signs occur.

If you begin experiencing flu-like symptoms shortly after removing a tick (3-14 days), consult a medical professional immediately.

But remember: the best medicine is prevention! Protect yourself, your family, and your pets by treating your entire yard with Yard Guard Outdoor Insect Control from now until the snow falls, and you can rest easy knowing your yard is pest-free!