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Ticks

Do you like spending time outside in the spring and summer? While these warmer seasons are a great time for you and your family members to enjoy the outdoors, ticks will be there too, hiding in the foliage of your garden and ready for a bite.

Why should you be worried about ticks? Ticks are responsible for the transmission of many diseases to both humans and animals. Out of all the arthropods, ticks spread the widest array of disease-causing organisms. When ticks feed on human blood they are capable of transmitting serious tick-borne diseases including Queensland tick typhus, Flinders Island spotted fever and Lyme disease.

Ticks are ectoparasites that live on the blood of mammals, including humans.

Call Rentokil on 1300 307 825 to discuss our range of tick control solutions.

Rentokil’s tick treatment

Treatment for ticks is not the same for fleas. Keep your family and pets safe with effective tick treatments from Rentokil Pest Control. This usually involves broadcast treatment to exterior surrounds and garden mulch areas with synthetic pyrethroids.

Tick infestation

For most people an infestation of ticks in the garden causes anything from a mild irritation to severe rashes and fevers with aches and pains.

Extreme cases can even result in respiratory arrest and other forms of life threatening shock reactions. The aggravation of tick bites can be avoided through knowledge of tick biology and habitats as well as methods of tick control.

Worried about ticks in your home? Call Rentokil today on 1300 307 938 for a fast, responsive service every day.

Tick control

There are several things you can do to get rid of ticks if you catch the problem early enough.

Here’s our to-do list for a tick-free home

  1. Garden maintenance: It’s important to keep garden foliage trimmed back away from verandas, paths, clotheslines and other areas frequently used. Reduce dense ground covers, and avoid large quantities of lead mulch/organic matter and wines which cover fences.
  2. Personal Protection: It is important to wear protective clothing when working in the garden. Wear a long-sleeve shirt, long pants a hat and boots. You may also want to apply a personal insect repellent to any areas exposed.
  3. Using approved pesticides and insecticides only: The active constituent pesticide is Bifenthrin, a synthetic pyrethroid. This product is diluted with water before being applied to the grass and foliage of your garden. Treatment may also include the application of the insecticide onto garden furniture and the exterior of your house. This treatment will provide a knockdown of the ticks in your garden at the time of treatment.

How to remove a tick

  • Places clothes in a hot dryer - Clothes brought in off the clothesline that are found to have ticks on them should be placed in a clothes dryer for a short time to kill the ticks.

  • Watch and act - If affected by large numbers of the larval tick, you should soak in a bath containing 1 cup of sodium bicarbonate for 30 minutes.

  • When bitten - Removing a tick from the skin should be done carefully. Using a disinfected pair of tweezers, firmly grab the tick head pulling out in a single continuous pull. WARNING: Squeezing the body of the tick may result in more toxins being injected.

  • DO NOT use chemicals - Under NO circumstances should any chemical like methylated spirits, petroleum jelly, tea-tree oil or turpentine be placed on the tick before removal.

  • Seek medical attention - If any ill effects are felt after the tick removal, consult your doctor immediately.

  • Be mindful - It is worth being mindful of possible tick areas alongside roads, around parks, sporting ovals and walking paths.

Tick life cycle

Ticks, through their life-cycle, live in grass and shrubs and other vegetative areas. It is from these areas that they can drop onto humans and pets that may brush past.

Most biologists place ticks and mites in a class related to both insects and spiders commonly known as acaraines. Like other insects there are four stages in the life-cycle of a tick:

  1. The Egg - The first stage is the egg. The life-cycle of a tick generally lasts one year but may vary depending on climatic conditions. The female tick can lay approximately 3000 eggs in a leaf litter or on the bank of certain trees and shrubs. These eggs hatch into the tiny larval tick, which is commonly known as the seed tick, grass tick or shower tick.
  2. The Larval - The second stage is the larval. When a tick forms into a larval is when it will be most problematic during late summer to mid autumn. Eggs hatch and larva (6 legged) crawl to find host for a blood meal. It appears that the larval stage requires a native host. These ticks are so small that often they cannot be seen and can be moved by the wind. For this reason, the larval tick is will be seen as the most problematic during late summer to mid autumn.
  3. The Nymph - The next stage of the lifecycle is the nymphs, which are prevalent from late autumn to early spring. The nymph is commonly known as the bush tick and is large enough to be seen with the naked eye. The ticks require a feed of red bloody between each stage of the life-cycle to enable the metamorphosis to the next stage (except the adult males who do not feed).
  4. The Adult - Adult ticks are small eight-legged arthropods with mouth parts resembling a parrying dagger. The tick’s body is fused into a single region rather than the head, thoracic and abdominal regions typical of insects. The ticks will then feed in the blood of the host by inserting their mouthparts into the host and sucking the blood. During this process they will inject saliva, which contains the chemicals that cause allergic reactions in humans and paralysis in dogs and cats.

Tick diseases

There are 70 species of ticks in Australia. Tick-borne bacteria exists which can spread infection and cause allergic reactions which can sometimes be life threatening.

Your chances of disturbing the tick increase by scratching it or trying to remove it, often resulting in the injection of toxic saliva. This is what can causes allergic reactions. In some cases, these can be life-threatening, and very rarely, lead to paralysis.

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