When you were growing up, did you play games where you had to defend your makeshift fort in the woods or living room? Have you been in a situation where you had to come to a co-worker or relative's defense? There have likely been times when you had to defend your words, actions, or territory or come to the aid of someone else.

We defend what we care about. Since our homes are a significant financial investment, we will do whatever possible to protect them from destructive people and pests. Although fleas and ticks do not physically damage a home's structure, they can wreak havoc on those who live in the house and enjoy time on the property. 

When these annoying pests invade, you need flea and tick control in Vero Beach from HomeShield Pest Control. We are a GreenPro Certified company that uses eco-friendly pest control products to protect your family. Our 100% Service Guarantee reflects our commitment to your well-being. If pests appear between our regularly scheduled visits, we will return and treat your home again for free. 

You can feel overwhelmed when fleas or ticks invade your home or property. While this sentiment is understandable, you are not defenseless. Please keep reading as we equip you with the knowledge to stand against these annoying insects.

How To Identify: Signs Of Flea And Tick Infestations

Fleas are tiny insects, and ticks stay hidden in tall grasses outdoors, so how do you know if they are the root cause of the bites you experience on your body? How can you be sure you don't have bed bugs or mosquitoes that have bitten you, and you are just now noticing the bumps? 

Although many people lump fleas and ticks together because animals often have both insect types feasting on their bodies simultaneously, we will examine the signs of infestation for each one individually. The following are indicators of a flea infestation:

  • Live fleas

  • Flea bites

  • Flea dirt

  • Hair loss

  • Excessive grooming and scratching

Let's unpack these signs to help you determine if your Vero Beach home has fleas.

Fleas are insects with a 1/2 to 1/6-inch dark brown or reddish brown flat-shaped body. These six-legged insects have large hind legs that enable them to jump eight inches vertically. Fleas like to reside on animals since they can move through their fur due to backwards-pointing bristles on their body. 

These flightless parasites jump onto animals and people, pierce the skin, and draw blood for nutrition. As they draw blood, fleas inject saliva into their host to promote blood flow and temporarily suppress the immune system's response. Once a pet's or human's body realizes the flea's saliva is in the blood, it registers it as an allergen and dispatches histamines. 

One sign of an infestation is the red, itchy bumps caused by histamines at the bite locations as they defend against the flea's saliva. Another indicator is hair and fur loss caused by excessive scratching. Also, pets become consumed with constant self-grooming as they attempt to remove fleas from their body. 

Because fleas feed on blood, they excrete dried blood. The feces, also known as flea dirt, look like tiny dark specs and are often on pet bedding and carpeting. Of course, seeing fleas is another indication of their presence.

Although grouped with fleas because they consume blood and attach to animals and humans, ticks are different creatures. Fleas are insects with three body segments, two antennae, and six legs, whereas ticks are arachnids with eight legs, no antennae, and two body segments. Ticks have a 1/10-inch reddish-brown (unfed) or grey (fed) body. The main indication of a tick infestation is finding these arachnids attached to you or your pet's body after being outdoors. 

Now that we know the indicators of flea and tick infestations, how does a property or home become infested with these pests? Many times, the problem begins with a wildlife or rodent intrusion. Fleas and ticks are hitchhikers that use animals as vehicles. 

Ticks use "questing" to catch rides on people or animals. The tick climbs tall grasses and holds on to the blades with their two hind feet while reaching out their two front feet to grab onto animals or people passing by. Ticks enter Vero Beach properties riding in the fur of wild animals and rodents. If the animal is on the property long enough for the tick to finish its blood meal, it will disembark and land on your property. 

Fleas live in areas where rodents and wild animals forage. As the animals move through those areas, the fleas jump onto their bodies and use them as hosts. They continue to ride on the animal and get off on your property. If you have pets, the fleas in the yard jump onto them as they play in the yard. 

Whether you have a problem with fleas, ticks, or both, HomeShield Pest Control offers tick and flea control near you.

a flea biting human skin

The Dangers Of Fleas And Ticks: Health Risks And Concerns

The problem with fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other ectoparasitic insects is they can be vectors for disease. As these insects and arachnids feed, they draw blood and inject saliva into their hosts. When they extract blood from an infected host, disease-causing organisms enter their body and migrate to their saliva glands. The next time the parasitic pests feed, they inject their now-infected saliva into their hosts and spread disease. 

Marine typhus, tungiasis, tularemia, and bartonellosis are bacterial diseases spread by dog and cat fleas in our modern era. These diseases cause nausea, fever, muscle cramps, abdominal pain, and other flu-like symptoms; some people may experience severe illness requiring additional medical attention. Fleas can also introduce tapeworms into pets and trigger anemia. 

Ticks spread a host of different bacterial and viral diseases than fleas. According to the California Department of Public Health, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Pacific Coast tick fever, and tick paralysis are diseases spread by ticks in our state. Rashes, fever, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, and other flu-like symptoms accompany many of these diseases listed. However, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease can cause severe organ damage. If you experience these symptoms, see a medical professional immediately and take the tick with you if you have already removed it. 

HomeShield Pest Control protects your family against diseases spread by fleas and tick bites in Vero Beach.

Homeowner's Handbook: Flea And Tick Prevention Essentials

Ticks and fleas will always be a part of our ecosystem, but that does not mean they must live inside your home or infest your property. Implement these tips to deter these arachnids and insects from invading your location:

  • Cut the grass short.

  • Remove overgrown vegetation and debris.

  • Construct a fence around the property to keep wild animals away.

  • Use veterinarian-approved flea and tick medications on the pets.

  • Bathe and groom pets regularly.

  • Vacuum the house frequently.

  • Wash pet bedding and bed linens.

  • Keep dogs on a leash when outdoors.

  • Use EPA-approved tick repellants.

  • Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

  • Check your body for ticks upon returning inside the house.

Some tick and flea prevention tips may not make sense, so keep reading for more information. 

We recommend a fence to discourage wild animals from entering because fleas and ticks often use them as transportation sources. The same is also true for rodents. While a barrier won't deter rats and mice because they can squeeze between the chain links, keeping outdoor trash cans closed and the yard free from debris will discourage them from staying on your property. Further rodent prevention comes from closing gaps around incoming pipes and wires, installing wire mesh over the crawl space and attic vents, and plugging nickel-size or larger holes in the foundation. 

When a HomeShield Pest Control service technician performs an inspection due to a tick or flea infestation, we can share additional tips based on your location.

Professional Flea And Tick Control: A Smart And Effective Solution

When fleas invade your house, they begin to reproduce rapidly. One fertilized female flea will produce about 2,000 offspring during its short 100-day life. An American dog tick female will lay 6,500 eggs for 14 to 32 days after a blood meal, and the offspring will reach maturity in three months to more than a year, depending upon climate conditions. When fleas or ticks infest your Vero Beach property, you need professional help to stop the rapid reproduction of these parasitic pests. 

When you contact HomeShield Pest Control for tick and flea removal service, our trained customer service staff will listen to your concerns and dispatch a certified service technician to your home. We will inspect your location for attractants and hot spots. After we collect data, we will develop a treatment plan. If fleas are the culprit, we will treat the interior with a fast-acting product. Next, we will create a three-foot barrier around the house. For those with a tick infestation, we will treat harborage areas and landscaping since ticks prefer to hide in locations with heavy foliage. Contact us today and receive a free quote on home pest control in Vero Beach.