Flea & Tick Identification & Prevention

What are fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks are both parasitic insects that feed via biting a host, such as a human or a pet cat or dog, and drinking its blood. It is more common to encounter fleas and ticks during the warmer months, but these pests can persist year-round if you don’t have proper prevention and treatment tactics in place.

Fleas

Fleas belong to the order of Siphonaptera, the classification for over 2,000 insects that act as external parasites by feeding on the blood of their hosts. Fleas are very small, making them difficult to detect and eliminate. They don’t typically grow larger than 0.13 of an inch. They are dark brown with hard shells and impressive jumping skills that allow them to move quickly and escape threats. Fleas will easily make themselves at home in your pet’s fur, fabrics, clothing, carpets, and any outdoor areas.

Ticks

Surprising to some, ticks are arachnids, along with spiders and scorpions. They are parasitic insects that don’t have wings or antennae but have a head, thorax, and abdomen fused into one. Several species of ticks are more commonly encountered, such as deer ticks, American dog ticks, and lone star ticks. Ticks are typically larger than fleas, they may have hard or soft shells, and all species will feed on their hosts by biting through the skin to drink blood.

tick on furr

Are fleas and ticks dangerous?

Fleas and ticks are some of the most dangerous pests in the Rockville, MD, area, mostly due to their parasitic nature. These pests will bite you directly, passing along bacteria and diseases directly into your bloodstream. Some diseases transmitted by fleas and ticks include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Tularemia
  • Tapeworms
  • Heartworms (in pets)
  • Bubonic plague

Additionally, you or any pets you have may suffer from allergic reactions to these bites, and pets may experience anemia or fatal amounts of blood loss from large flea or tick infestations around your property. It is important to consult with Womack Pest Control for assistance if you experience flea or tick issues.

Why do I have a flea & tick problem?

It is a common misconception that you need to have a cat, dog, or other types of pet in order to develop a flea or tick problem. The truth is, while pets can more easily introduce these pests to your property, they can just as easily move into overgrown outdoor areas or the fabrics of your home and feed off any humans they encounter.

How can I get rid of fleas & ticks?

Fortunately, many of the prevention steps for fleas and ticks are similar. You can follow the below tips to protect your property from major invasions by these pests.

  • Cut your grass short and trim back overgrown shrubs and bushes. Also, remove outdoor debris to reduce hiding spots for fleas and ticks.
  • Consult with a veterinarian and apply flea and tick preventatives to any pets on your property.
  • Declutter interior spaces often and vacuum frequently to pick up all life stages of fleas and ticks.
  • Wear pants and long sleeves outdoors to ward off tick or flea bites. Also, wash clothes in hot water after being outside.

If you are struggling with a widespread active infestation of fleas and ticks, you should contact Womack Pest Control. The professionals can help tame your pest problems and safely remove these pests before things get out of control. Reach out to us today to schedule an inspection or to learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.

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