How to Kill Seed Ticks

Overview

Infestations of seed ticks in the lawn or garden succumb to many acaricides--poisons especially deadly to ticks at all stages of growth. The nymph or hatchling tick emerges by the thousand in mid to late summer after the year's first generation of adults lays eggs and dies. Controlling the type of vegetation in the home landscape creates an environment pleasant for people and pets but hostile to ticks. Effective landscaping greatly reduces tick populations without poison.

Step 1

Mow grass regularly and trim weeds short. Develop a tick-free landscape by keeping brush, weeds and overhanging limbs cut back from areas where people work and play. Cutting grass short creates conditions too hot and dry for ticks to survive, while trimming back taller plants eliminates ambush areas for both adults and nymphs or seed ticks.

Step 2

Spray outdoor areas infested with seed ticks with an approved acaricide based on permethrin or chlorpyrifos. Liquid applications cover vegetation thoroughly and penetrate crevices where ticks shelter. Treat brickwork, foundations, and wooden fences as well as grass and ornamental plants. Young ticks frequently shelter in large numbers along the bases of walls and in the gaps of wooden structures.

Step 3

Scatter insecticide powder at the edges of yards to treat the litter where adult ticks lay eggs. Granulated poisons filter through the top layer of plant debris to the areas where ticks shelter.

Step 4

Bathe household pets with flea and tick soap to kill tick nymphs hidden in thick fur. If ticks become established indoors, discard old pet bedding and spray the areas where pets sleep with cyfluthrin-based insecticides approved for indoor use.

Step 5

Remove seed ticks embedded in the skin of people or pets by gripping the tick near the head with tweezers and gently pulling the tick out. Drop ticks in a small jar of mineral oil to contain and kill the pests. When all have been collected, seal the container and discard.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use insecticides according to manufacturer's directions. Apply poisons to infested areas only--treating the entire yard or garden should not be necessary and overuse of poisons could harm wildlife and beneficial insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawnmower
  • Weed trimmer
  • Acaricide--broad spectrum insecticide approved for tick control
  • Manual pump sprayer
  • Flea and tick soap
  • Flea and tick collars for pets
  • Tweezers
  • Mineral oil
  • Small jar and lid

References

  • University of Nebraska Extension: Controlling Ticks
  • Center for Disease Control: Stop Ticks
  • University of Delaware Extension: Tick Control

Who Can Help

  • Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases in Texas
Keywords: kill seed ticks, flea and tick collars, kill tick nymphs

About this Author

James Young began writing as a military journalist in Alaska and combat correspondent in Vietnam. His lifetime fascination with technical and manual arts yields decades of experience in electronics, turnery, blacksmithing, outdoor sports, woodcarving, joinery and sailing. Young's articles have been published in Tai Chi Magazine, Sonar 4 Ezine, The Marked Tree, Stars & Stripes, the SkinWalker Files and Fine Woodworking.