Ticks are one of the more troubling household pests since they can carry diseases that are quite harmful to people.
Types and Habits of Ticks
There are about 70 species of ticks in Australia, although some of them have limited ranges. The most common are the Paralysis tick and the brown dog tick.
Ticks feed on the blood of animals, and they transmit diseases through their bites. A couple of the more serious diseases they carry are Flinders Island Spotted Fever and Queensland Tick Typhus.
Ticks typically crawl up vegetation and wait for a suitable host to pass by. When you or your pet brushes against this vegetation, the tick drops on.
Prevention Tips for Ticks
Your goal is to prevent a tick from ever making contact with you or your pet. The following steps can help.
- Trim grass, flowers, and shrubbery around the house and along walkways.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, slacks, and boots when you’re in environments where there are likely to be ticks.
- Use a repellent on clothes and exposed skin surfaces.
- Treat your pets with approved tick-repellent medications.
Control of Ticks
Knocking down a tick infestation usually involves treatment of the yard with insecticides. A type called pyrethrum is often the treatment of choice of professionals.
Anything you do to decrease the moisture in your yard and increase the amount of sun that penetrates to the ground is also helpful. This includes things like removing dead leaves and grass, watering less, and mowing often.
If you live in an area that attracts bandicoots, keeping them off your property is a key strategy for tick control. Bandicoots are a common host for Paralysis ticks.
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