What Is the Best Pesticide to Kill Ticks?

The tick is a blood-sucking parasite that no one wants around. There are more than 800 species of ticks, and they exist all over the map. Finding effective means of eliminating ticks probably will involve the use of a chemical pesticide. Knowing the best type to use will help make the process easier.

Tick crawling on human skin.
credit: Tick crawling on human skin. image by blindfire from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>


Permethrin is a safe, inexpensive, neutral-smelling pesticide that is considered the best product for outdoor use against ticks. The ready-to-use product can kill and control a variety of pests around the home. A hose-end sprayer is best to distribute the pesticide. Pump sprayers are not effective. Spray all tick habitats with Permethrin, including shrubbery up to 3 feet above the ground. Spray the area around the perimeter of the house, working out toward the edge of the property. Ticks have the ability to sense pesticide and will retreat, so starting at the street and working toward the home will increase the number of ticks trying to make their way into your home. Permethrin is available in most areas, although it cannot be shipped to a few select states.

On Your Pets

For treating pets and helping to control indoor tick problems, use a product such as Frontline Topspot or a similar pet treatment. Frontline is a topical tick killer sprayed or otherwise applied to a pet's coat. It contains Permethrin-10, a variety of the same pesticide used to treat outdoor areas. This product is safe for your dog, cat and those handling them. Regularly examine your pet's bedding for infestation and wash or dispose of infested bedding immediately to help control ticks.

Improve Pesticide Power

Prepare your lawn for a pesticide treatment by exposing the tick's habitat as much as possible before application. Mow the lawn very short and remove weeds or brush that may make for good hiding spots. Preparing the lawn this way before treatment may allow the pesticide to do its job more effectively. Create a tick-safe zone by making a clear border between your property and any wooded areas. Use dry wood chips, mulch or gravel to form a barrier that will discourage the migration of ticks from wooded or untreated areas into your yard.

Lee Morgan

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.