Ticks on My Kid?

Updated on May 04, 2011
M.M. asks from Tucson, AZ
12 answers

My ex lives with his dad who i know keeps a dirty house. I've been so grossed out by the smell and dirty bathroom that even while we were together i wouldnt want to go over there. There is dog hair everywhere and his dog has ticks and has had them before when we were together. We chose not to take our kids over there until he treated the dog. So on Saturday my daughter found a tick in her bed at my house that she must have gotten on her blanky when she spent the night over there Friday. I asked my ex if the dog had ticks again and he said yes. I told him he needed to clean the house and get rid of the ticks. So my 2 yr old and 7 yr old had visitation with him again tonight. My 7 yr old daughter told me her grandpa flicked a tick off her leg today. She also said her dad was trying to keep the dog out of the house while my girls were there, but her grandpa told her its the dogs house and she can go in it if she wants to. My ex confimed that this did happen. Would you continue to let your kids go to that house? I want my kids to see their dad and i welcome the break since i am 37 weeks pregnant, but i dont want my kids getting ticks. I'm so grossed out. Him comming to my house and staying is not an option.

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answers from Modesto on

tics prefer an animal host over human, so generally they wont get on you if a dog or cat is around, if that makes you feel any better. If her dad and any other people living in the home dont have tics on them, then you probably dont need to worry about it quite as bad.
If they do get a tick on them you get get them off easily with lighter fluid.

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answers from Washington DC on

Just to add: The diseases ticks carry can be extremely serious and can require very long-term and expensive treatment. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is one disease they transfer to humans; the other is Lyme disease which can evenutally be fatal -- it nails the immune system. Treatment can work but takes time and money; ask your ex if he is ready and willing to haul your kids to many doctor's appointments and pay for a lot of medicine AND be responsible for ensuring they take all that medication when they're with him. That might shake him into cleaning up this environment or preferably moving out, since a cleanup will not work permanently if Grandad doesn't keep it up and doesn't keep up treating the dog for ticks too.

Ask your lawyer: Can you get a court to suspend visits temporarily if the home is tick-ridden, smelly, and dirty, and your children are actually bringing home bugs on themselves and/or their belongings? You may have to get a third party from the court to inspect the house before you can do anything like suspend visits. I'd proceed carefully on that since you do want the kids to see their dad and the relationship seems to be OK; it would be better to start by talking to the dad (without grandad there!) and presenting him with information about the diseases ticks carry; see if you can even get your pediatrician to meet with dad and talk about these diseases seriously.

Be sure you know all the signs of Lyme (bullet-shaped rash is a big one) and Rocky Mountain spotted fever; also be sure you and your ex both know how to remove a tick safely; look online for advice from places like the Centers for Disease Control (you do NOT ever smother it in vaseline as some say, you never burn it off -- there are a lot of myths about how to remove a tick and most will make the situation worse). Keep ticks you remove and put them in plastic zip lock bags and get them to your county health service -- they can test the tick itself for disease long before a child shows any symptoms so treatment can start early. Look online at www.cdc.gov for information on diseases and tick removal.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yuck. I would not let my kids in that house until it is a. cleaned, b. treated to remove the bugs and c. the dog is treated too. Ticks have Lymes disease. Also it sounds like the "grandparent" cares more about the dog than your kids. Not cool.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Is it court ordered? If it is he could take you for contempt if it's not court ordered you don't have to let them go anywhere. I would not let my kids go to a dirty house. If it's as bad as you say I'd report it.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think unless you get a court order stopping visitation you can't stop sending them no matter what. If you do he can call the police, show them his visitation papers, and they'll take the kids out to him.

It has happened more than once with my daughter and her oldest child's father. At 6pm on Sunday evening if she didn't have him ready for his dad's week he called the police. He built a case against her based on police reports. He won full custody.

By the way, your house probably has ticks around it too. They live in grass, on trees, just about anywhere, on clean animals more than dirty ones. I have been outside and a tick fell on me from a bush. Just check your kids every day when they come in and remove the ticks the proper way. Anyone can get ticks.



answers from Honolulu on

Ticks, carry diseases. Which can be transmitted to Humans.
Next to Mosquitoes, ticks are the major carriers of diseases to humans.
DON'T they know that????


that house needs to be reported or something.
It is:
a health hazard
has ticks and probably fleas
and, houses children!

this is really gross and unsanitary.
And to think they eat there too?

He should be thinking about their health.
And/or, move out from his Dad's house.
How disgusting!

The home and the dogs has to be treated, all at the same time.
This is, really unsanitary.
If you don't want to go there, how can the kids be expected to go there too???? What a terrible unclean home!

And, a Tick already got transferred to your house.

Our dog had ticks when I was a kid... my Dad had to pull them off with PLIERS! And then burn them.
Often, the head still is stuck in the "host" because it latches on so deeply.



answers from Redding on

Oh dear. I would freak if I was just sitting around and a tick jumped on me.
In my opinion, the dogs AND the house need to be treated, especially when it's to the point where ticks are being brought home on blankets, etc.
I would just tell him..."You love your dog, you love your kids, but the ticks have to go. Until you get it under control, I think you need to spend your time with the girls somewhere else. I know it's not convenient, but I can't let them be around that. Take them to the mall or the park or Chuck E. Fricking Cheese, but please don't expose them to ticks. It's not the dog's fault. You know that neither one of us want to deal with a sick kid if one of them gets Lyme's disease. I'm serious. You need to treat the dog and bomb that house or do whatever you have to do and then the kids can go back over safely. I don't want to fight with you about this, and I won't. There will be no fight. No one will force me to allow those kids over there with a house full of ticks. Visit with them somewhere else or get rid of the ticks. Those are the only two choices right now. If one of them gets bitten and we have to take them to the doctor and the doctor finds out you live in a tick infested house, what do you think is going to happen? It has to be taken care of before anything like that occurs."
Hopefully that will get through to him.

You can't really help animals getting ticks. But to have them in the house is another thing all together.

I wish you the best with this one. I really do.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Any chance of your ex moving into his own place anytime soon?


answers from Washington DC on

hm. that's a tough situation. you will probably have to have a difficult conversation with him about refusing to allow the kids into a house that is a genuine health hazard. i don't personally freak out over ticks (we live in Bug Central) but i'm not blase about them. if the animals are covered with them and they're coming home in your kids' clothes, it's a clear health issue. lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever are no joke.
try to persuade him to meet the kids elsewhere until he can move into a better place. if this isn't an option, you may have to consider going to court over it. i suspect the court would rule in your favor.


answers from Dallas on

The house needs to be treated!! Gross!! Dogs and cats can be treated for this very cheaply. My sister found a tick in my head when I was 8 or 9 and I will NEVER forget the fact that she pulled it out and then showed me how to burn it on the stove. SO gross! I've had a few drinks, but still.... This is not hard. Treat the yard, treat the dogs, treat the house. End of story.



answers from New York on

Take your kids to the doctor now to be tested. People don't always know if they've had a tick and then years later discover after lots of testing for other things that they have Lyme disease. It's a horrible disease but if you catch it now, it can be easily treated. It doesn't matter if you didn't see a tick attached or see a ring etc. It's not worth the risk. I know people with Lyme and it's horrible. Being exposed to ticks like that is a HUGE risk. People I know with Lyme didn't even realize they'd been exposed to a tick so imagine the changes of your kids. Sorry but I'm pretty up on Lyme and it's not worth messing with. See the movie "Under Our Skin". Get your ex to see it!



answers from Chicago on

Uh the clear answer is NO!!!! This shouldn't even be debated. Ticks can certainly cause health issues...Ummm Lyme Disease which can have life long implications....There is no reason that the dog can't be treated. I have no doubt that a court/social services would side with your decision should this become a battle. Totally gross, unsanitary and my God a tick could bite you and you are pregnant. Look our for your kids...

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