How Much Does Tick Control?
Ticks are creepy parasites that feed off the blood of animals and humans. Unfortunately, they also transmit disease, so it’s vital that you keep them away from your house.
But how much does tick control cost?
The average cost of tick control is about $350 but can range from $200 to $500.
Here’s a closer look at the national averages:
- National Average Cost: $350
- Cost Range: $200 up to $500
- Minimum Cost: $75
- Maximum Cost: $600
What affects tick control costs?
Tick control prices will vary depending on several factors. Here are a few you should consider. Keep in mind that there may be more depending on where you live.
Outdoor vs. indoor tick service
Outdoor tick control comes at a higher price than indoor treatment. This is because the scope of work is so much wider.
Additionally, the equipment required to spray a large area requires time to set up, which consumes more manpower and materials. Still, effective pest control companies will provide solutions for both indoors and outdoors and do them simultaneously. They do this because they realize the customer benefits most from the treatment of both.
Size of the home
Many companies charge based on a residence’s square footage. This information gives them an idea of the total size of the area that needs to be treated, but it does not account for the acreage surrounding your home.
That said, the overall size of your property will factor into the cost. For instance, one-acre lots cost around $200, whereas a three-acre lot can lead to costs around $400. Properties over five-acres cost nearly $600.
A yard full of weeds can also add to the overall price. Moreover, if you have extensive trees, landscaping and tall grass, you may have to pay more. And given ticks tend to live in heavily wooded areas, some companies may charge even more for those areas.
Frequency of service
Most tick control programs are pretty flexible and allow you to choose the right time intervals to fit your budget and schedule. Here are a few examples:
Annual tick contract
If you live in an area where ticks are a problem all year, this is probably your best option. This will also cost you the least amount of money over time, as payments vary from $50 to $100.
However, there is a catch. The service adds up because you must allow the tech to visit your home each month. You may want to think hard about this.
Seasonal tick contract
Savvy companies understand that many homeowners do not want to overpay for services, so they’ll offer shorter agreements such as three or six months.
With these contracts, your home will be sprayed every 21 days, which is the minimum interval, as outlined by most insecticides for tick control. This program is one of the best because it provides treatment when its most needed, often in the summer and spring months.
The average cost per treatment for a seasonal contract is about $100. However, this may be out of your budget, so you may want to consider a quarterly contract.
With these contracts, you are only required to schedule tick control services once every three months, which makes this option better for busy people. For this, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 up to $200 per treatment for these plans.
One-time tick control service
In almost all cases, one-time tick control treatments include the inside and outside of your property. The average cost per service varies from $200 to $500.
Most seasonal or annual contracts come with a warranty. This typically covers times you find ticks present after the service has been completed. However, these guarantees don’t normally apply to one-time or quarterly contracts.
Signs & causes of tick infestation
There are a few common varieties of ticks commonly found near homes. The next section will help you identify them:
Dog ticks vary in size from ¼ to ½ inch long, depending on how well-fed it is. The color is reddish-brown and has gray spots on its back. Dog ticks are often found in northern coastal areas in the US.
These are also known as black-legged ticks, a midwestern species that live about two years. Adults are common in the fall and spring, while nymphs are usually active in the summer.
You can identify deer ticks by their prominent dark brown or black legs. The males are a bit smaller than the females, and nymphs are so small they’re hard to see.
Lonestar ticks are mainly found in the midwestern US and also have a two-year lifecycle. Both females and males are caramel-colored, but the female has the famous yellow star on its back.
No matter which type of tick you are dealing with, they feature similar traits. Here are the most common:
- Flat body
- Eight legs
- Four developmental stages: egg, larva, nymph, adult
- They survive on human or animal blood
Health risks associated with ticks
According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most common health risk associated with ticks. If you come down with this illness, here are symptoms to expect:
- Redness around the bite
- Lyme disease
Most Lyme disease cases are treatable, but sometimes neurological complications can arise if the disease goes untreated.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is another bacterial disease that’s spread by tick bites. It’s not too common, with only about 5,000 cases per year.
Here are the symptoms of this condition:
This is easily treatable with antibiotics, but some people suffer from long-term issues like:
Here are some other conditions caused by tick bites:
Anaplasmosis attacks human red blood cells with symptoms like anemia, fever and heightened liver enzyme levels.
Babesiosis is a common infection in the Northeastern and Midwestern US, with symptoms like fatigue, fever and anemia.
Ehrlichiosis kills white blood cells in the body, with symptoms like muscle aches, headache and fatigue.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Taking care of your tick problem is always an option, or you can hire professional services if you prefer.
Here, we will show you the main differences between the two. Yet, you’ll also get some insight into how the professionals deal with the process.
Step 1. Assessment
Your entire home should be checked for an infestation. This is the first thing that many technicians do before they begin treating. After that, they work to get the treatment right the first time, which is done through a complete inspection.
Step 2. Treat your pets for ticks
It may be a good idea to send your animal to the groomer during the treatment process. Or this can be done at home using a special tick shampoo. Either way, having your pets tick-free will ensure your home treatment works for a long time.
Step 3. Pre-treatment prep
It’s crucial that you go around your property and remove tall grass, weeds, mulch and piles of leaves from your yard. The inside of your home is also vital to treat, so be sure to wash all pet bedding, rugs and carpets.
Step 4. Outside treatment
The average person finds outdoor spraying tricky. Though a hand-held sprayer adds convenience, it’s probably not sufficient because it doesn’t hold enough liquid to treat your entire yard.
This is where professional companies come into play. They utilize state-of-the-art, high-pressure equipment so your entire property can be treated quickly. This ensures all ticks are treated in one treatment.
Step 5. Inside treatment
Spot treatments can sometimes be accomplished with residual sprays indoors, but you must be careful not to saturate areas like pet bedding with these chemicals.
Alternatively, other dry insecticides work well for crevice and crack applications. These also work well for long-term tick control.
Tick Prevention Tips
- Remove mulch or leave piles from your yard
- Keep your grass cut
- Vacuum your entire indoor area
- Treat all kennels, dog houses and other pet areas with a residual spray
- Use insect repellent and wear long-sleeve shirts when outdoors
What’s the Standard Tick Removal Process?
The standard procedure features the tick control company visiting your home, often multiple times. Here’s what to expect when hiring a professional tick control provider:
Order and Scheduling
In many cases, tick removal is not a high-sales industry. It usually begins with a free quote, but just be wary of any company that keeps trying to add on services. If you already have a pest control company that handles ants or cockroaches, you may consider adding tick control to that plan.
Inspection and identification
Beware of any tick control company that arrives at your property and immediately reaches for a sprayer. This is your first sign that they are not professionals, so you may want to find a new option.
The best tick control providers will at least survey your home first, as they want to assess the problem thoroughly to know what they’re dealing with.
Most tick control costs include the yard area, but this is not always the case. Be sure to ask the provider what is included and what is not. You should also inquire about the types of chemicals that are being used. Chemical reports are usually included with your bill but ask about any pesticide they plan to use.
As the tech moves inside your home, it’s time to pay attention because there are several ways to treat indoor areas for ticks, with some being safer than others.
For instance, some companies have moved away from foggers, but some still use them. Alternatively, you want a company that uses knock-down spray that contains permethrin or other EPA-regulated chemicals.
Follow-up service calls
Tick contracts are often a one-time service, but sometimes you can add flexibility. For instance, if you already have regular pest control, you may be able to add this to your regular scheduled service. Not only does this save you money, but it usually comes with a follow-up inspection.
A Final Word About Tick Treatments
Simply slathering topical repellents to prevent getting bit by ticks is ineffective. The only way to ensure that the infestation doesn’t continue is by employing stronger measures. If you choose to handle the issue on your own, that’s fantastic, but be sure to ask a professional about pesticides before applying. Also, you should protect yourself by wearing protective wear such as goggles, overalls and gloves.
If you seek help for your tick problem, be sure to consult online reviews and seek advice from friends and family before choosing one. Finding the best companies in your local area solidifies your chances of getting rid of ticks once and for all.