Pros & Cons of Doing It Yourself with Tick Sprays
Tick sprays, often called acaricides, come in a variety of forms intended for use on humans, pets, plants, and structures (with indoor and outdoor application options). Many sprays are available for use by the general public, while other more intense chemicals are legal only for trained professionals. Amateur users and homeowners should read label instructions carefully before applying sprays, as misuse of acaricides results in a violation of federal law.
Pesticide chemicals in acaricides vary, depending on the tick species and habitat targeted. DEET and permethrin are the most common chemicals found in tick sprays intended for general use. Sprays containing DEET are often used on the skin and typically come in ready-to-use (RTU) pump-spray containers or aerosol cans with 5% to 100% concentration options (higher concentrations of DEET should only be applied to clothing/not directly on skin).
Sprays containing permethrin are mainly intended for use on clothes or for outdoor purposes and often come in concentrated bottles or granules, which must be used in conjunction with water before spraying or after the application. The effectiveness of these products varies, depending on concentration, coverage, and how often they are applied.
Leave It to Pest Control Experts
While a multitude of tick sprays are advertised for use by the general public, many types of acaricides require users to possess proper licenses and technical know-how. Pest control professionals boast a wealth of knowledge and expertise in prevention and control of both indoor and outdoor tick populations.
Types of Pesticides
Experts know that combatting the different species of ticks found in New England requires various types of pesticides at different times of the year. For example, blacklegged tick (deer tick) prevention must take place during mid-autumn. In contrast, American dog ticks, also known as wood ticks, require treatment in the late spring. Timing also remains important due to the necessity to control deer ticks while still in the nymphal stage, when they are known for transmitting Lyme disease.
Professional Control & Equipment
Equipped with the proper gear, pest control experts strategically perform acaricide applications on structures, tree lines, and other areas of properties vulnerable to tick infestations. Professional pest control workers use specialized equipment with the power to overturn leaves and the finesse to penetrate cracks and crevices. The experts can also assist homeowners with a game plan for landscaping and a schedule for chemical intervention, a combination of tactics that proves most effective in fighting tick invasions.