Tick Control in Sydney, Northern Beaches and North Shore

Article by Bruce Gow

Are you looking for long term, safe and professional tick control? Ticks are small but deadly pests known to cause paralysis, and even death, in both animals and humans. They are a common problem for residents of Sydney Northern Beaches and North Shore, and are often difficult to deal with without expert assistance.

If you’ve got a tick infestation don’t waste your time. Call us now for a quote or to book in for an urgent treatment. With over 35 years of experience in Pest Control you can count on us to do a proper job! Call today to get rid of infestations before the warmer weather hits on 0417 251 911
Interesting commentary about lyme disease and the tick connection. More info soon on the spread of ticks in the Northern beaches and the Sydney areas.

Typical life cycle showing nymph, larvae, adults and semi-engorged adult.




What Are The Worst Suburbs in Sydney?

In our experience anywhere near the bush where there are possums and bandicoots such as Beecroft and Wahroonga. I would have to say that the peninsula suburbs of Palm Beach, Avalon, Bilgola Plateau, Warriewood and Newport are probably the most prevalent. All The Sutherland Shire areas are at risk and to the Upper and Lower North Shore, these localities are very commonly infested: Hornsby, Lindfield, Roseville, St Ives, Turramurra, Castle Cove, Cremorne Point, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, McMahons Point, Mosman, Riverview, Willoughby and Woolwich,

“After experiencing 7 small ticks in a matter of 2 weeks in July we thought the coming tick season is going to be a bad one. We got A1 Pest Control in to spray the garden immediately and we have not seen a tick, on ourselves or our cats, since. After spending thousands last year saving a cat from tick paralysis this service is one of the best around.” Sue Kelly, St Ives



Paralysis ticks are unfortunately the most common type of tick found in Sydney, an area they find hospitable due to its large leafy swathes and lush foliage. The tick’s native habitat is within such vegetation, so if a pet or a resident regularly spends time outside in these sorts of densely planted areas, the risks of becoming victim to a tick dramatically increase. Protect your pet and family by calling today on 0417 251 911

Professional treatment is essential in such cases, as failure to provide such measures may put both humans and pets at risk of the health problems associated with ticks.


Loss of normal appetite

Weakness in the hind legs or forelegs. Not being able to stand up properly

Barking irregularly or weakly

Coughing or vomiting

Excessive drooling
Strained breathing or making rapid breathes

If your pet is showing any of the above, take your pet to your vet A.S.A.P. – tick paralysis is potentially fatal and requires urgent veterinary attention.

Make a good examination of your pet for ticks & use a tick removal tool in order to remove them carefully.



Under no circumstances offer food or water to your affected pet. This because dogs and cats can’t protect their airways when swallowing as this may worsen their condition because of toxins released.



Advantage, Advantix, Advocate, Aristopet, Capstar, Comfortis, Fido’s Flea powder, Frontline, Kiltix, Nexgard, Panoramis, Revolution, Sentinel, AND Virbac tick collars

So what are the risks associated with a tick infestation?

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions are one of the most troubling issues associated with tick infestation. This is because the symptoms of an allergic reaction vary dramatically between individuals. While some individuals suffer only from mild itching in the tick-affected area, others find themselves at risk of deadly conditions such as anaphylactic shock.


The aptly-named paralysis tick is capable of inducing paralysis in both human and animal hosts, making it extremely dangerous. Children and those with suppressed immune systems are most likely to suffer from tick paralysis, with those affected demonstrating symptoms such as weakness, rashes, flu-like symptoms, and tenderness. These symptoms typically worsen over time, and can be deleterious if the tick at fault remains undetected.




Lyme disease and tick typhus are just two of the dangerous diseases associated with ticks. Tick typhus causes headaches, rashes, glandular swelling, and fever, and lyme disease shares many of these symptoms.


While taking precautions such as wearing light-coloured clothing and using insect repellents may be of some benefit against ticks, these approaches only deter ticks from biting—they don’t actually help with tick control. Similarly, while cutting back overhanging foliage and keeping grassy areas mown and in good shape may help reduce the risk of ticks, these approaches are far from fail-safe.


Brigade is a granular insecticide that is proven to be very effective and is the only registered tick control treatment in Australia. Take care when deciding on a pest control firm as not many make use of Brigade and you could end up getting stuck with a tick treatment that doesn’t last! Brigade gets into all the cracks and crevices in the garden as well killing any ticks that are hiding out of sight. Brigade is completely non-staining, odourless and non-sensitizing which provides an ideal treatment for any home or commercial property that wants a tick control treatment which doesn’t leave evidence or harmful chemicals.

Features and Benefits
  • Because Brigade comes in a unique sand formulation it is one of the easiest Tick control measures to apply. Simply spread the formulation evenly to achieve a lasting effect
  • Another benefit of the sand formulation is that the granules actually roll and move into small cracks and crevices (harbourage areas for insects)
  • Can be applied using broadcast machinery for en masse application
  • Non-scheduled
  • No odour, no staining, and not harmful to plants
  • Broad Spectrum
  • Faster knockdown and lasting effectivity due to the hardy formulation
  • Affordable!

Brigade is certified for use on both residential and commercial premises to effectively target and control various manner of lawn and turf insect pests. This includes various ant species, fleas, and ticks, while the insecticide schedule allows for it to be applied on both public and private buildings and lawns as well as areas that might be identified as “sensitive” such as; government premises and schools, as well as other areas where the use of insecticides are restricted to lower schedules only. The sand formulation slips into cracks and crevices where it controls the problem while out of sight and out of mind. In comparison with other granular formulations Brigade is superior in the actual flow of the granules out of the applicator, meaning that they roll better and reach deeper into the cracks and crevices where other other formulations will pile up and spread ineffectively across any given area.

We ONLY use Brigade when it comes to the control of ticks as it is proven to be effective and provide a residual effect that protects yourself, your children, and your pets from harmful ticks such as the paralysis tick.

Brigade is effective against: Ants (broad spectrum of effectiveness), Fleas, Ticks, Lawn Armyworm, Sod Webworm, Argentine Stem Weevil



If you want to ensure that your property is safe from ticks and their potentially life-threatening bite, then you should seek professional advice. Currently only licensed pest controllers are capable of applying NSW’s only registered tick control product which has the brand name of Brigade. So if you have a tick problem that needs to be addressed, call us on 0417 251 911 for more information or to arrange a low toxic environmentally friendly solution that is extremely effective in controlling ticks.

Tick Poisoning

The tick becomes attached to its host by inserting its sharp mouthparts, which bear backward-projecting barbs, ensuring that it is held in place during feeding. At the same time, a material is injected from the salivary glands of the tick, and this prevents the coagulation of blood, which would cause the fine mouthparts to become clogged. It is this anticoagulant, and perhaps other materials, that is toxic to animals. Fatal paralysis in mice has been produced experimentally by injecting them with fluid from the salivary glands of ticks. The tick does not burrow into the skin; but because there is localised reaction to the presence of the tick which causes swelling of the skin, the tick appears to be embedded deeply. Once a tick bite has been detected, it should be treated immediately.

Symptoms and treatment of tick bites

The following symptoms start to appear about 3-7 days after the tick has attached itself to an animal:
1 Loss of appetite, lassitude and depression occur.
2. Discharge from the eye may be present.
3. Paralysis is first evident in the hindlimbs, when the animal finds difficulty in walking and co-ordinating its movements.
4. Vomiting may be evident, followed by grunting and wheezing.
5. Paralysis extends to the forequarters, with accompanying difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
6. Eyes show distress, and the pupils become dilated.
7. Death may be caused by respiratory failure brought about by paralysis of the throat region, or heart failure may occur.
Any animal that has picked up a tick should be referred to a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible, even after the tick has been located. The tick should be removed, and this may be done by grasping the tick head area with the finger and thumb nails (or fine forceps if available) and snapping it sideways and then withdrawing it. Do not use kerosene, and do not squeeze the tick’s body. After the tick has been removed, the site may be washed with a mild antiseptic. If the animal cannot be taken to a vet, seek the vet’s guidance by phone.

Control of Ticks

The number of ticks in an area may be reduced and the hazard minimised by several means:
1. Exclusion of bandicoots. These are protected animals and must not be killed. However, if they are trapped and released elswhere, the problem is reduced. If bandicoot activity is noticed by their diggings in lawn areas, they are seeking curl grubs and other lawn pests, so eradication of the grubs means the bandicoots are no longer attracted so close to where pets have access.
2. Removal of excess vegetation, particularly above grass height, and elimination of moist areas.
3. Chemical spraying of foliage and areas suspected of harbouring ticks, using registered products. Read the label for acceptance in problem areas.
4. Washing the animal in a recommended and approved pesticide. Information appears on the label of suitable pesticide containers. Dusts also have some value.
 5. Searching animals at least every second day. This is the most satisfactory procedure. Pesticides, although effective for a time, are likely to give animal owners a sense of false security that the tick have all been killed or repelled. Any small ticks found may be removed as described previously. Fully engorged ticks must be removed carefully, preferably with forceps.

Some general details about ticks

Paralysis in animals – The adult tick is the most dangerous stage in the life cycle of the tick, although younger stages may cause paralysis when present in large numbers.

Veterinary treatment – The advantages of seeking advice from a veterinary surgeon are stressed. The vet is able to administer tick serum and either minimise or prevent distressing vomiting. When a tick is removed, the peak symptoms may not be evident until some time later.
Tick serum – The serum is produced by allowing large numbers of ticks to feed on laboratory-held animals. Some animals do not produce this serum.
Susceptibility – Bandicoots, kangaroos and wallabies appear to be susceptible until they acquire immunity, probably by exposure to repeated attacks from the immature stages of the tick.
Recovery – Recovery appears to be higher in cats and goats than in dogs. Animals do recover from tick poisoning with proper treatment.
Immunity – After an infestation from ticks, an animal that has recovered usually retains immunity for about 3-4 weeks, particularly if serum has been administered. Ticks must repeatedly feed on animal for immunity to be retained.
Location of ticks – Ticks are found mostly on the forequarters, especially the head and neck region. Some difficult, yet faoured, areas for attachment are the mouth, ears eye surrounds, base of tail and anus. The animal can usually remove them itself from other parts of its body.
Seasonal abundance – Ticks are usually more abundant in the August-March period, but weather conditions play an important role. Although numbers decline in winter, animal inspection must not be neglected at this time.

Tick dispersal – Tick may be transferred from vegetation on such things as clothing and oicnic rugs, as well as animal fur. Ticks do not jump; they merly adhere to the body or legs of a passing animals.

“There are various health issues related to ticks and we wouldn’t advise anyone to postpone a treatment after seeing evidence of ticks on your property. They can have severe negative effects on young children and pets or even adults in the case of paralysis. Talk to us today  on 0417 251 911 and we’ll be happy to quote you or advise you with regards to an appropriate treatment.”


Ticks have their head, thorax and abdomen fused into one region and in this way may be distinguished from spiders. They have four pairs of legs in the adult stage, although, like mites, the immature forms have three pairs. Ticks may cause the death of warm-blooded animals by introducing toxins into the bloodstream, or cause non-fatal infections.

There are many species of ticks, and their identification is usually a task for the specialist. General entomologists mostly refer ticks to a specialist, except in cases of better-known species.

The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is an introduced species that has become established in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. In these areas, it is the usual tick on dogs, but it can also be found on cats, sheep, cattle, horses and humans. In Queensland, it is blamed for transmitting ‘Q fever’ – a typhus disease.

The Australian paralysis tick is often encountered on animals and its life cycle is considered here in detail.

Australian paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus)
The Australian paralysis tick is distributed mainly along the eastern coast of Australia, from Queensland to Victoria. The species seems to be most abundant of the coastal plain.

As a result of the presence of the paralysis tick, poisoning kills many domestic animals, particularly cats and dogs, as well as causing discomfort and illness. Infrequently, this tick causes death to humans. Humans showing tick-poisoning symptoms should be referred to a doctor and, for animals suffering from tick poisoning, the services of a veterinary surgeon should be enlisted.

Developmental stages
The length of the lifecycle of the Australian paralysis tick varies and may, in some stages, be very protracted. There are four distinct developmental stages in this species – egg, larva, nymph and adult – and these are much the same for other species. Continuity of growth depends on the tick obtaining a blood meal to enable it to pass from one stage to another, and the adult female must have a blood meal for the protein that enables it to product eggs.

The adult male does not feed on blood and therefore does not become attached to an animal host and cause it distress. It may be distinguished from the female by the large shield or plate that covers its entire upper body surface. The adult female, in both the larval and nymphal stages, this plate only covers about one third of the upper body surface.

If you need help with these pests please call our office at 0417 251 911 or E-mail us at: bruce@a1pestcontrol.com.au