What are fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are both external parasitic pests that feed on the blood of people and animals. Fleas are about the size of a fleck of dirt and have hard, flat bodies that are shiny and dark reddish-brown in color. These pests are wingless, but have powerful back legs that allow them to jump to great distances. Fleas also have specialized spines on their mouth, legs, and backs to prevent them from falling off their hosts. Unlike fleas, ticks are not insects. They are actually arachnids and are closely related to spiders. These pests use their specialized mouthparts to grasp the skin of their victims, pierce their skin, and insert a feeding tube to feed on their blood. One of the most common species of ticks found in our area is the lone star tick. Lone star ticks are brown in color and the females have a unique white spot in the middle of their backs that helps to distinguish them.
Are fleas and ticks dangerous?
Yes, fleas and ticks are both considered dangerous, ticks more so than fleas. Both these pests create health risks and transmit diseases to both people and animals. Therefore, taking steps to reduce flea and tick populations on your property is important to help protect the health and safety of you, your family members, and your pets.
Fleas' saliva can create an allergic reaction that may cause an itchy dermatitis and lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention. If your pet is dealing with a severe flea infestation, they can become anemic. In addition, fleas are responsible for infecting people and animals with parasitic tapeworm.
The lone star tick is a vector of many dangerous diseases, infecting people through their saliva. Some of the diseases that these ticks are known to spread include tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI), all of which can have serious health implications if contracted.
Why do I have a flea and tick problem?
Both fleas and ticks are most commonly introduced onto our properties by wild animals. Once on your property, they will remain there until a new host passes by that they can attach themselves to. Here in Texas, raccoons, squirrels, deer, skunks, rabbits, and foxes are all common hosts for both fleas and ticks. Fleas are frequently introduced into homes on the clothing of people as well as in the fur of our pets and can reproduce rapidly indoors while lone star ticks cannot survive indoors.
Where are fleas and ticks commonly found?
Ticks live outdoors in areas of tall grass and dense vegetation, in ditches, along ponds and fence lines, or along the edges of wooded areas waiting for a host to pass by to attach themselves to. Fleas live outside in shady and moist areas or sandy spots, finding their way into homes after jumping onto people or pets. Fleas also find their way inside homes in used furniture or rugs. Inside, fleas and their eggs are found in cracks of floors, upholstered furniture, in rugs, and in pet sleeping areas.
How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
The easiest way to completely reduce flea and tick populations on Texas properties, and eliminate fleas from homes, is with the help of a professional. At Bug Head Pest Control our experienced professionals can provide the comprehensive services needed to find and eliminate fleas and ticks on your property or in your home, and prevent their return. If you are looking for exceptional flea and tick control services for your Dallas-Fort Worth area home or business, reach out to us at Bug Head Pest Control!
How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?
To reduce your chances of attracting fleas and ticks to your Texas property and having them find their way into your home, consider the following tips:
Place a stone barrier between wooded areas and your lawn.
Regularly mow your lawn to eliminate hiding spots for these pests.
Trim overgrown shrubs or bushes found on your property.
Remove bird feeders from your property that could attract wild animals.
Inspect yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks and fleas after spending time outside.
Regularly vacuum areas where your pets spend most of their time.
Regularly wash your pet's bedding and vacuum the areas where your pets sleep.
With the help of their veterinarian, place your pets on a year-round flea and tick control program.
Don’t purchase used furniture or rugs for use within your home.
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