What are fleas & ticks?
Both fleas and ticks are ectoparasites that feed on the blood of their warm-blooded hosts. How fleas and ticks get onto their hosts differ.
Fleas are tiny, wingless insects with large back legs they use for jumping, either onto a host or out of the way of danger. No bigger than a speck of dirt, their strong legs and ability to move quickly help them survive. Fleas typically choose one host to live their lives on, preferring animal hosts like dogs, cats, small rodents, and wild animals.
Ticks are also small in size and are a type of arachnid. Adults have eight legs but are incapable of jumping. To find their way onto a host, they have to crawl to the top of a piece of grass or other vegetation and wait for one to brush past them that they can crawl onto. Ticks require blood meals from different hosts with a new host for each life stage; larvae, nymph, adult.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
Fleas and ticks are well-known parasites that attack and cause problems for our pets, but they also are a threat to people. Many people and animals are allergic to flea saliva, and being bitten often results in a red itchy rash. They also are capable of spreading parasitic tapeworms and transmitting disease-causing pathogens.
Ticks pose a significant health threat to both people and animals. They are carriers of many bacteria and pathogens, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Why do I have a flea & tick problem?
Fleas and ticks usually become a problem in our homes after hitchhiking a ride inside on people, pets, or wild animals like mice that have moved indoors to nest. Once inside, it is typically only fleas that can develop large populations; most ticks cannot reproduce indoors.
Fleas and ticks are pests primarily associated with wild animals and our pets; they live on their backs, feeding on their blood. As wild animals and pets move across your property, they bring with them and leave behind fleas and ticks.
Where are fleas & ticks commonly found?
Fleas and ticks are successful because they are adaptable and can survive many different climates and temperature changes. These pests can remain dormant for long periods, waiting for the correct environmental conditions to occur to complete their life cycle.
Outside, shady, moist areas provide the ideal conditions for these pests to develop. It is also where you will find adults waiting for a host to come by that they can jump or crawl onto.
- Leaf or grass piles
- Dense shrubbery or landscaping
- Spaces under decks and porches
- Wooded areas
- The edges of wooded trails or walking panthers
- Ditches and along fence lines
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
Fleas and ticks are outdoor pests constantly being introduced onto our properties by wild animals, and stray pets. The best way to control their numbers and prevent them from taking over your indoor or outdoor space is to partner with a professional and implement regular pest control services.
Through our kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and eco-friendly home pest control services at HomeShield Pest Control, we offer our customers comprehensive solutions to their pest problems. If you live in the Sacramento Valley or Southern California area and would like to learn more about working together to protect your home and property from fleas and ticks, call us today!
How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?
Some of our most helpful tips to protect your California yard and home from the fleas and ticks that call our region home include:
- Do what you can to keep wild animals off your property. The best way to accomplish this is to take away their access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, maintaining gardens, and picking up uneaten pet food.
- Mow your lawn regularly, and make sure to cut back tall grass and weeds from your foundation.
- Regularly check yourself, your kids, and your pets for fleas and ticks before coming inside after spending time outside.
- If you own pets, make sure they are on a year-round flea and ticks preventative program.
- Vacuum your home regularly.
- Seal spaces in your home’s exterior walls that could allow rodents and other animals that carry fleas and ticks into your house.