Fleas and ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts as their sole source of food. Fleas and ticks are considered to be outdoor pests but are both sometimes introduced into our homes and commercial properties. Both of these parasitic pests have specialized mouthparts that they use to pierce the skin of their hosts and feed on their blood. Fleas and ticks are known to be common problems for pet owners but are also capable of invading pet-free households.
Some of the most common species of fleas and ticks living throughout our areainclude the following:
Cat fleas The most common flea living throughout the Dallas Metro is the cat flea. Despite their name, cat fleas feed on a variety of mammal hosts – including people! Cat fleas are reddish-brown in color and have hard bodies that appear flattened from side to side. They have powerful hind legs used to make their way through the thick fur of their hosts and jump up to 150 times their height.
Dog ticks Dog ticks are so-named because their preferred host is the domestic dog. If necessary, however, they will feed on other animals and sometimes people. The most common subspecies of dog ticks living throughout northeastern Texas are the American dog tick and the brown dog tick.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
Fleas and ticks are considered dangerous to both people and pets. Ticks feed on the blood of a variety of hosts and can transmit a variety of illnesses to people and animals. Ticks living throughout our area transmit a variety of significant diseases to people including ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. Many people and animals are allergic to flea saliva and will develop itchy dermatitis. Due to excessive itching, flea bites can sometimes lead to a secondary infection that requires medical treatment. Fleas also transmit tapeworm to people and pets. Additionally, pets that are infested heavily with fleas can develop anemia which can make them weak and ill.
Why do I have a flea & tick problem?
Fleas can live successfully inside any home or business and, despite their small size, can create significant problems once inside your property. Fleas are prolific breeders and are very difficult to eliminate; the best way to remove a flea infestation, in conjunction with your help from your veterinarian, is with professional pest control.
Ticks usually aren’t able to thrive indoors and aren’t a huge problem inside of homes. The exception to this rule is the brown dog tick, which is the only species that can complete its life cycle indoors. Wild animals traveling through your backyard, or those that are living and feeding on your property, are the main reason fleas and ticks end up there. Once on your property, they often find their way inside on the backs of pets or on your clothing.
Where will I find fleas & ticks?
Fleas and ticks mainly live outside on a host. Fleas that are waiting for a host to happen by often do so in shady areas, tall grass, and moist, sandy soil. Fleas that have found their way inside are usually discovered in upholstered furniture, bedding, and rugs, on pets, and in the cracks of floors. Ticks wait for their hosts along fence lines, along wooded paths, in ditches along roads, in tall grasses, and in areas of dense vegetation. Dog ticks are often a problem in and around kennels, campgrounds, dog parks.
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
The best way to eliminate fleas and ticks from your property is to partner with a local pest control expert. We are committed to providing each of our customers with superior pest control services to meet their individual needs. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians always perform the most advanced, effective services.
How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?
The following tips can help you to protect your home or business from becoming overrun with fleas and ticks:
Place pets on a year-round flea and tick control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.
Avoid introducing used upholstered furniture or rugs into your home or business.
Place a stone barrier between your lawn and any wooded areas.
Regularly bathe and groom your pets.
Keep grass cut short and prune overgrown bushes and shrubs.
Regularly wash pet bedding and vacuum floors in your home or business.
Inspect yourself, your children, and your pets for fleas and ticks after spending time outside.
Remove bird feeders, and ensure trash cans and compost bins have tight-fitting lids to stop wild animals from feeding on your property.