If you have found a tick in your bed, you are likely to have a thousand questions running through your mind like where did the tick come from? or if there is one of these unsolicited visitors, does it mean more?
Well, If you’ve found a tick in your bed, it does not necessarily mean that you have a full-blown tick infestation or your home is full of them. However, you must still take all of the necessary precautions to prevent ticks from multiplying. This includes cleaning your home and yard and treating your pets for ticks. Ticks multiply rapidly, so you must go by the rule that “one tick in the house is already too many”, so act fast.
Tick bites are known to cause deadly diseases including Lyme disease in pets and humans, and, naturally, you’re eager to keep ticks out of your house.
In this guide, we will address the question ‘Is it possible to have more ticks if you’ve found one in your bed?’ We also have some important tips to help you prevent ticks in your home and yard.
Ticks naturally inhabit areas with thick vegetation and usually cling to leaves in wait for a host to latch on to. They are attracted to breath, moisture, odor, movement, and vibration easily.
Ticks can be easily brought home by humans or dogs. The latter is more likely because they possess furs where ticks can safely hide while feeding. Ticks can also attach to a human host, especially during outdoor activities after which they unknowingly bring them to their bed when they are taking a rest.
Also, If you let your dog into your bed, then it is even more likely that the tick got into your bed from your pet.
In essence, these pesky bugs tend to bite humans and your bed is one of the best places for them to find one to feed on.
Furthermore, ticks also find a convenient place to hide and lay eggs on the sheets, pillow covers, and blankets on the bed.
Always remember – never underestimate even a single tick.
When it comes to ticks, you must always go by the rule that ‘one tick in the house is too many’.
So, although one tick does not necessarily indicate a full-blown tick infestation, it still significantly increases your risk of having multiple ticks. It also means that you have ticks living outdoors in your neighborhood and if one tick has managed to find its way into your house, chances are that others could also do the same.
Besides, ticks multiply rapidly. A single female tick can lay thousands of eggs in one season and those eggs go on to mature into larvae and adult ticks that further lay thousands of eggs and the cycle continues!
So yes, one tick in the house could indicate that you have more.
Here are some places where ticks hide and lay their eggs at your home:
- Bed and Bed Linen -Ticks love to lay eggs under the mattress and on the bed linen. They crawl under the baseboards and headboards and lay eggs. They also get to bite humans at night to get a blood meal.
- Windows and Window Furnishings – Ticks can come inside your house from tall trees surrounding your property. Window and door treatments, curtains, blinds, and upholstery offer safe hiding places for ticks. They lay eggs here and crawl over to nearby hosts – humans and pets – to get their fill of blood.
- Carpets and Rugs – Pets often drop ticks and their larvae or eggs on the carpets or rugs. Ticks can lay eggs under the edges of the rugs.
- Furniture – Ticks easily crawl inside cracks and crevices of wooden furniture, lay their eggs, and come out to feed. They also find warm hiding areas in upholstered furniture like sofas, chairs, etc.
- Stand in front of the mirror or use a hand-held mirror for checking your body for ticks.
- Check under your armpits, in the belly button, pubic area, and buttocks. Don’t forget the back of your knees. Also, check your hair.
- Repeat the same steps to inspect your family members. Family members may take turns inspecting each other.
- If needed, take a hot shower and shampoo your hair. Also, use strong medicinal soap to clean yourself thoroughly.
It may be best to keep pets away from your home for this step and the next.
- Launder – toss all your clothes, bedding, curtains, blankets, dog beds, bed linen, sheets, etc. in the washer. Wash everything using a strong detergent. Use the hottest setting of the washer and dryer to kill all the eggs and larvae. For white-colored clothes/linen, you can also use bleach. Bleach eliminates tick eggs and larvae as well.
- Vacuum – Sprinkle boric acid powder all over your carpets and rugs and behind and under the furniture. This will kill the ticks and larvae. After a few hours, vacuum the entire house from corner to corner and wall to wall. Repeat this treatment every 3 days to kill newly-hatched tick eggs.
- Clean the walls – if you have washable paint, you can wipe the walls with a wet mop. If not, vacuum the walls thoroughly.
- Clean the furniture – Wipe down wooden furniture by spraying it with a wood-safe spray. Oil-based polishes also repel ticks due to their strong scent. You can also use essential oil-based sprays with eucalyptus oil to clean the furniture. You also need to spray insecticides to repel ticks (described in the next step).
Tick-repellent insecticides are readily available over-the-counter. Make sure you choose a non-toxic product that is safe for indoor use. Each product will have different instructions, so read the labels and follow them thoroughly.
- Spray the product liberally on baseboards and molding.
- Don’t forget the areas under the cabinets.
- Make sure to spray inside cracks and crevices in furniture and walls.
You need to repeat the insecticide treatment every 7 days or as instructed on the product label.
- Brush your pet with a fine-toothed comb. Remove and dispose of ticks you find in alcohol. Close the jar tightly.
- Use a vet-approved pyrethrin-based pet shampoo to bathe your pet.
- Once your pet is dry, use a spot treatment to apply between your dog’s shoulder blades. This will eliminate newly hatched ticks.
- Your vet can also prescribe Bravecto or other chewable/oral tick treatment.
- Use a tick collar on your dog for added protection.
- When taking your pet outside for walks, spray it with anti-tick spray. Alternatively, use tick powders to dust your pet all over.
- Groom your pet after every walk and remove ticks immediately. Dispose of the tick in rubbing alcohol to kill it. Bathe your dog once a month with anti-tick shampoo.
Ticks love hiding in cluttered and grassy areas. So, yard treatment is imperative.
- Spray beneficial nematode solution on your fence, bushes, lawn, garden, and plants. Repeat this treatment every 10 days. These biological agents kill ticks naturally.
- Keep the grass mowed to a short height of under 2 inches. Ticks cannot survive direct sunlight, so keep the grass super short.
- Eliminate clutter from your yard – especially under the decks. Remove rusty toys, swing sets, playsets, old bikes, etc. Discourage raccoons, squirrels, and possums from hiding under your porch. These animals often carry ticks.
If the above methods and home remedies do not show results and you still find ticks, please seek professional pest extermination services. They are skilled at eliminating the entire tick population and tick eggs from your home and yard and preventing them from coming back.
Here are some top tips for tick prevention:
- Tick control has to start with pets – Use anti-tick products like spray, shampoo, collars, and powders, to repel and kill ticks on your dog.
- Wash and launder frequently. You must especially wash your pet’s bedding and everything your pet sleeps on. Use bleach where possible. Don’t forget to clean your dog’s crates, cages, and toys.
- Frequently clean indoors and outdoors. Vacuum thoroughly. Discard or burn the vacuum cleaner bags after you vacuum.
- Mow your lawn every few days, especially in warmer months.
- Treat your yard with insecticides.
- Keep the yard and porches clutter-free.
- Remove the tick from your dog or bed – the moment you find one and dispose of the tick in a jar of turpentine or alcohol.
- Clean your car if your pet rides in it.
Ticks not only suck your dog’s blood but also transmit bacteria into their bodies. These bacteria could transmit deadly diseases like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, etc. Some of these diseases can also affect humans. Read the linked post if your dog won’t let you remove ticks from their body.
Often, without treatment, these diseases can be fatal. Toxins from ticks can result in paralysis in humans and dogs. Ticks could also suck so much of your dog’s blood that it could result in severe anemia.
This is why you must use an ongoing tick prevention regime for your pets. There are several options to prevent ticks on dogs:
- Topical treatments and collars – these contain insecticides (fipronil, imidacloprid, or permethrin) that deter ticks from biting your dog.
- Oral medicines – these get absorbed in your dog’s bloodstream. The medicine is transferred to the tick once it bites your dog. This prevents ticks from reproducing and also kills existing larvae and eggs.
- Tick shampoos – these may kill existing ticks but do not protect your dog from new infestations.
If you have found one tick on your bed, it does not necessarily mean that you have a full-blown infestation.
However, you must still act fast and inspect yourself and your family members for ticks. You must also take measures to stop ticks from multiplying.
This includes treating your pets for ticks, cleaning your home and yard, and also using a proven anti-tick regime to prevent a massive tick infestation or resorting to professionals.