In the past, I’ve dealt with fleas outbreak a few times whereby I find my home infested with ticks and fleas from my pet dogs. Once, I’ve had a very nasty surprise when I was trying to wash my main sliding door curtains- to find that it has a few hundred dog ticks hiding behind the curtains!
I put the curtain in the washing machine with detergent and clorox but it did nothing to those ticks. They were moving and it made my washing machine crawling with ticks. Yikes! Sorry if I grossed you with the real picture below but I really wanted to proof that this had happened:
As I sun the curtains, I manually catch and drown the ticks in a bowl of soapy water. That exercise took me a few hours. I also had a similar nasty surprise when I washed the curtains of my windows in the living room.
This happened near the festive celebrations and I had to go round catching the ticks in the midst of a busy period to prepare for the festival.
I have tried the suggestion from the vet where I purchased a solution, dilute with water and spray in the borders of my home:
Well, the ticks were still around.
Solution to overcome tick outbreak in your home:
1. Treat your pet for ticks.
I have tried spraying with tick medicine and putting tick medicine (the kind where you drop at the back of their heads and you are supposed to put the medicine monthly.
Finally, a vet where I took my dog for treatment using acupuncture (my dog was paralysed by possibly through tick paralysis) recommended oral tick medicine which was supposed to be taken monthly. This is the most expensive of all treatment but it is the most effective.
The first time I gave my dog the medicine, it lasted almost 2 months. I gave the second time about 3 months ago and I have been checking my dogs regularly for ticks and glad that I did not find any yet. Below is the medication that I have given to my pet dogs called NexGard (I have 2 dogs):
2. You would have to go through the pain of manually catching the moving ticks.
If you use the spray method, then the ticks, put off by the strong smell will just run helter skelter and hide behind your curtains and corners. But if you put medicine that causes the tick to die after they suck the blood, they would just drop off dead all around.
To be honest, I really dislike killing them and was determined that I would work on preventive action.
3. Do not let your pets indoors of your home
Some animal lovers may object to this. However, it can be overwhelming if you are juggling multiple roles- either full time job, a mother, daughter, caregiver, cook, cleaner and ….have to go around catching ticks.
In the previous article, I wrote on the changes I saw after we decided not to let our pet dogs into our homes. It was a very difficult decision as I lived with pet dogs roaming in my home all my life. But the difference of a much cleaner house brings a marked reduction of my stress levels. I find more time in my hands to focus on priorities that mattered.
My pets have been staying within our gated house compound for about 2.5 months- they’ve lost weight and surprisingly it took longer for the ticks to return. Possibly because they are more active and running around and hence have improved immune system.
4. Maintain cleanliness of your pets
Bathe them often using specialized dog medicated shampoo. Yes, pet medicated shampoos can be costly and they are definitely twice as expensive as the shampoo I am using to watch my hair and much more expensive than the soap that we are using. But you need to use it as the normal human shampoo sometimes may even cause skin irritation in dogs.
Both my pet dogs used to be terrified of water and bathing when they were puppies. However, they got over the fear quickly after they felt so comfortable and clean after each bath.
Bathing them regularly using medicated dog shampoo and cleaning their living space, especially the spot where they sleep on would lengthen the time it takes for the ticks to return.
An experience of my mom’s long time friend
A close friend of my mom have kept two pedigree dogs for more than 10 years. Her dogs were allowed in her home and often there would be ticks moving around. She mentioned that it was not unusual to see a tick at the size of a bean crawling up the wall.
And the lady in question is not lazy or negligent of her pets. She bathed her pets few times a week and took them for periodical visits to the vet. But she still could not prevent ticks from coming.
Eventually both her pet dogs passed away from old age and she decided not to keep any more pets. After that, the occasional tick crawling on walls no longer could be seen. Without pets being around, the ticks would not be around too.