What are fleas & ticks?
Fleas and ticks are both common types of parasites. They are external pests, and feed on the blood of both people and animals. Fleas are about the size of a fleck of dirt. They have hard, flat bodies that are very difficult to crush. Their bodies are shiny and dark brownish-red in color. Fleas are wingless, but have large, powerful hind legs that allow them to jump to great heights. Fleas also have specialized spines on their mouths, legs, and backs to prevent them from falling off of their host.
Ticks are arachnids, and therefore have eight legs. They have oval-shaped bodies, and specialized mouthparts that they use to grasp the skin of their victims, pierce it, and insert a feeding tube to suck out the blood. One of the most common species of ticks found in our area is the brown dog tick. They are reddish-brown in color, with no real distinct markings. After feeding, their bodies swell, and they turn a steel gray color. As their name suggests, their favorite host is the domesticated dog, although they will also feed on other animals, and people, if necessary.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
Yes, fleas and ticks are dangerous. Fleas are responsible for transmitting parasitic tapeworms. In addition, their saliva causes allergic reactions in some people and pets that can cause severe itchy dermatitis, which can lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention. Pets that have a severe flea infestation can become anemic, and very ill.
Depending on the specific species, ticks are responsible for spreading a wide range of diseases, including Lyme disease, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis. Brown dog ticks rarely feed on people, but when they do, they have the potential to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They also spread canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesia.
Why do I have a flea & tick problem?
Fleas and ticks are often introduced onto properties by wild animals like skunks, squirrels, deer, raccoons, foxes, and mice. Once on your property, they will make themselves at home, until a new host passes by that they can attach themselves to and begin feeding on. Fleas and ticks find their way onto you, your kids, or your pets, which introduces them into your home. Mice or other animals that seek shelter in your home can bring fleas and ticks with them, triggering an infestation. Additionally, you or your pets could come into contact with fleas and ticks in public places like walking trails, campgrounds, parks, veterinary offices, dog parks, and grooming facilities.
Where will I find fleas & ticks?
Fleas live outside in shady, moist, and sandy areas. Adult fleas spend most of their lives on a host, laying eggs in their hair or fur. Fleas often find their way into homes on people’s clothing, or on pets. However, fleas can also find their way into homes inside of used furniture or rugs that are already infested with their eggs, larvae, or other fleas. Fleas are able to live successfully inside, and are prolific breeders. Fleas thrive in warm, humid climates, at temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees.
Ticks live outside in areas of tall grass and dense vegetation. They also live in ditches, along ponds, or along the edges of woods. Most species of ticks are unable to survive indoors; the exception to this rule is the brown dog tick. Ticks don’t require moist soil for their eggs to develop, which means they can complete their entire life cycles indoors and become a problem inside of any home or commercial building.
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
The easiest and most effective way to control and prevent flea and tick infestations on your San Diego and Poway area property is with the assistance of a professional pest control provider, like the trusted California pest control experts here at San Diego Pest & Termite. When you partner with us for a professional home pest control plan or ongoing commercial pest control services, our technicians will provide the services needed to control fleas and ticks and prevent them from returning to your property.
San Diego Pest & Termite is committed to using modern and trustworthy pest control solutions to remove fleas, ticks, and other household-invading pests, and prevent their return. To learn more about our guaranteed solutions that will eliminate fleas and ticks from your San Diego County property, reach out to San Diego Pest & Termite today!
How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?
Listed below are some helpful tips to prevent problems with fleas and ticks in your San Diego County home or business.
Inspect yourself, children, and pets for ticks and fleas after spending time outside.
Remove bird feeders that could attract wild animals to your property.
Place a stone barrier between your lawn and wooded areas.
Regularly wash pet bedding, and vacuum your home.
Keep the grass cut short around your property.
Regularly bathe and groom pets to eliminate fleas and ticks.
Don’t purchase used furniture or rugs for your home.
Trim back overgrown shrubs or bushes found on your property.
Place pets on a year-round flea and tick control program with the help of your pet's veterinarian.
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