Fleas and ticks are more than nuisances—they can pose a health hazard to your pets and your family by carrying diseases. However, at the same time, you want to make sure that the solution to these pests is not a danger to your children or animal companions. If you’re looking for child and pet friendly tick control, here are some steps you can take to keep everyone safe.
An unruly lawn can provide a safe haven for fleas and ticks. Tall grass and overgrown shrubs provide shade that fleas seek and vantage points from where ticks can latch onto a host. Regularly trimming grass, shrubs and tree branches makes the lawn less hospitable to these bugs—plus, it often makes for a nicer-looking yard. If you live adjacent to a wooded area, pay special attention to managing the brush there or consider applying a gravel or mulch border that discourages ticks from traveling across.
Preventative Pet Care
Practice checking your pets for ticks regularly, especially after a day of roughhousing outside; focus on the ears, neck, upper legs, underbelly and the base of the tail. Regular baths, vacuuming and washing pet bedding are good ideas, too. If you can, purchase flea and tick medicine, generally in a topical form, and apply it every few months. Make sure to consult a vet.
If you must spray, consult a vet on products that are minimally toxic. Some products use natural ingredients that repel fleas, ticks and other pets, but make sure that they don’t come from any plants that are toxic to dogs or cats. Keep in mind, too, that these won’t kill pests and thus work best alongside other methods of prevention. Also, even at their least toxic, avoid using sprays around where pets or children often play.