With more than 850 species of ticks worldwide, many regions of the world have developed natural, avoidance-based prevention and chemical solutions to tick problems. For example, there are several ways to minimize the risk of getting a tick outdoors just by wearing the proper clothing. Pet owners can also give their animals vet-approved tick control products that either discourage ticks from taking the animal as a host or kill them soon after. In general, indoor tick control methods are not necessary because most ticks cannot survive such a dry environment. Therefore, the main concern is preventing tick acquisition when outdoors and locating those ticks upon returning indoors.
Dogs and cats can be treated with flea and tick drops that kill all life stages of these blood-sucking insects and arachnids. Pets must usually be treated every month by applying drops of medication onto the backs of their necks. This method of tick control is by no means fool proof, so it is often recommended to practice prevention methods. Tick products are typically designed to kill the major tick species in an area, and certain brands may not work well in areas they were not intended for.
One of the best methods of tick control is to be cautious when wading through tall grass as a human and prevent pets from doing so at all. People can wear light-colored clothing in addition to tucking their pants into their socks to more easily spot ticks and prevent them from quickly finding a feeding area. Even if a pet has been treated with a tick repellent, it is best to keep it away from potentially tick-infested areas. In many areas of the world, tall grass in a usually undisturbed location in the woods often has ticks lying in wait of a new host. Depending on the type of tick, they are usually happy to settle with a person or dog rather than the standard deer blood meal.
Finding ticks can be difficult, especially on pets with very thick coats. Daily grooming can help find ticks in tough areas like the back, because ticks still searching for a spot to feed can be removed with a comb. Finding ticks on people is a little easier; a glance over the entire body plus some feeling around on the head is often sufficient. Ticks need blood to live, and if they do not find it within about six months of their last meal, they die. A tick in a home but without a host is more likely to perish of other causes, though, like dry air.