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How to Kill Seed Ticks

By James Young ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Things You Will 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

Tips

  • Apply insecticides at least twice for the best control of tick populations. Two treatments a month apart should eliminate most ticks. One treatment could rid the yard of ticks temporarily, but in a few weeks the next generation hatches and the problem returns.
  • Prevent recurring infestations by protecting pets with flea and tick collars.

Warning

  • 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.

About the Author

 

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.