Fleas & Ticks
What are fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are external parasitic pests that feed on the blood of both people and animals. Fleas are about the size of a speck of dirt. They have a hard, flat body that is shiny and dark brownish-red in color.
Fleas are wingless, but have very powerful back legs. Fleas also have specialized spines on their mouth, legs, and back to prevent them from falling off of their host.
Ticks have an oval shaped body and use their specialized mouthparts to grasp the skin of their victim, pierce it, and suck out the blood. They are small in size, but their body swells and expands after consuming a blood meal. Examples of tick species found living and invading properties in Texas and Arkansas include:
American dog ticks
These ticks are a larger species and are brownish in color with whitish-gray or yellow markings on them.
Brown dog ticks
Brown dog ticks are reddish-brown in color and have no distinctive markings. After feeding they turn steal blue-gray in color.
Lone Star ticks
Female lone-star ticks have a distinctive white spot on their back; males have multiple smaller white spots on their backs.
They are a very small species of tick that are brownish-orange in color with darker blackish colored legs.
Are fleas and ticks dangerous?
Both fleas and ticks are dangerous parasites that are capable of spreading disease and parasites to both people and animals.
Fleas are responsible for transmitting several diseases and parasitic tapeworm. In addition, their saliva can create an allergic reaction in some people and pets that can cause a severe itchy dermatitis. The itchy dermatitis can lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention. If a pet has a severe enough infestation they can become anemic.
Ticks are responsible for spreading a wide range of diseases including the very serious Lyme disease, (black-legged ticks) Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.
Why do I have fleas and ticks?
Both fleas and ticks are introduced onto properties by wild animals like skunks, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, and opossums. As the wild animal travels across your lawn the well-feed fleas or ticks drops off onto the ground. Once on your property the parasites remain until a new host passes by they can attach themselves to and begin feeding from. Unfortunately, the new host could be you, your kids, or pets who then introduce the parasites into your home.
In addition, if you own pets and they go to the vet, kennel, or neighborhood park they could come into contact with fleas and ticks, bringing them back to your property and/or home when they return.
Where will I find fleas and ticks?
Ticks live outside in areas of tall grasses, dense vegetation, in ditches, along ponds, or along the edges of woods. Fleas are able to live inside successfully, but luckily most species of ticks are unable to survive indoors. The exception to this rule is the brown dog tick. They don’t require moist soil for their eggs to develop; meaning they can complete their entire lifecycle indoors and become a problem inside of homes.
Fleas live outside in shady, moist, and/or sandy areas. Fleas commonly find their way into a home on pets or people’s clothing after they have spent time outside where fleas are present. Fleas can also find their way into homes inside of used furniture or rugs that are infested with their eggs, larvae, or adults.
How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
The easiest and fastest way to control and eliminate fleas and ticks is with the assistance of a trained professional. At Pest-Pro Services, Inc., the first step we take to get rid of fleas and ticks is to provide a free inspection and estimate. Our dedicated technicians will then recommend a treatment plan to control fleas and ticks that have invaded your property.
For more information or to schedule your free inspection, please reach out today!
How can I prevent fleas and ticks?
In combination with professional pest control services from Pest-Pro Services, Inc. there are things that you can do around your Texas home and property to make it less attractive to fleas and ticks. We recommend:
Placing a stone barrier between wooded areas and your lawn.
Keeping your lawn cut short.
Trimming back overgrown shrubs or bushes found on your property.
Removing bird feeders from your property that attract wild animals.
Installing gutters to direct water away from the exterior of your home.
Inspecting yourself, children, and pets for ticks and fleas after spending time outside.
Regularly vacuuming areas where your pets spend most of their time and wash their bedding.
Under the guidance of their veterinarian placing pets on a year-round flea and tick control program.
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