Ticks

How To Check For Ticks

A Do It Yourself Tick Inspection Guide

  Print Article By DoMyOwn staff


Overview

If you have found a tick in your home or suspect you or your pet may have been bitten by one, there are 3 main places around your home that you must check:
  • On Your Pets
  • Inside Your Home
  • In Your Yard
By learning where ticks live and locating areas of infestation, you will have an easier time treating. Read our guide to inspecting for ticks below. Have ticks? Read our how to get rid of ticks guide for treatment ideas.


Step 1

Inspect Pets for Ticks

Pet owners often notice ticks on their pets when they feel a small bump while grooming or petting their animals. We recommend that you inspect your pets frequently during tick season.

To inspect your pet, begin with a pair of tweezers and a small bowl of rubbing alcohol. Slowly rub your pet’s coat to check for bumps while looking for bites. Pay attention to the areas around the animal's tail, ears, eyes, armpits, and between the toes.

If ticks are found, use tweezers to carefully remove the ticks from your animal’s body per your veterinarian’s instructions. Drop the ticks into the bowl of rubbing alcohol for a quick kill. Contact your veterinarian and inform them of the tick(s). They may want to perform blood tests on your pet to rule out disease.


Step 2

Inspect Your Home for Ticks

If pets live in your home, they can bring ticks inside with them. Humans can also be carriers of ticks, especially after hiking or camping in the woods. If you suspect there might be ticks in your home, use a bright flashlight to inspect the following areas:

  • Pet Crates and Bedding: Inspect your pet’s crate or bedding for live ticks. Don’t forget to thoroughly inspect the corners and crevices of dog beds.
  • Upholstered Furniture: Inspect the tufts, seams, folds, and where cushions meet the backs of upholstered furniture, the arms of furniture, and the backs of furniture. Pay special attention to furniture that your pet frequents.
  • Around Entry Points and Baseboards: Ticks can come into your home through windows and doors, so be sure to check around door and window frames. Baseboards provide a good hiding place for ticks, so don’t forget to check them too.


Step 3

Examine Your Yard for Ticks

If you have found a tick on your pet, there is a good chance they picked it up from your yard. Knowing where ticks live in your yard will help when it comes time to treat for an infestation. This will also help reduce bites on your pet and the risk of them bringing ticks into your home.

Use a bright flashlight to inspect the following areas in your yard:

  • Along rock or brick retaining walls
  • On tall or dense brush
  • In piles of yard debris, including firewood
  • Any place where your pet spends time playing or relaxing outdoors
  • On trees, bushes, or tall grasses
  • In areas where leaf debris has collected

Pro Tip

Perform this quick test to determine if you have a tick infestation in your yard.

Attach a white towel to a rod or stick and drag it over areas you suspect might have ticks. Ticks will usually climb onto the towel, helping you locate an infestation.


Have you identified ticks and determined where the infestation is? Read our guide on How to Get Rid of Ticks by clicking the arrow on the bottom right of this page.

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