What are fleas & ticks?
Fleas and ticks are outdoor pests that can become a problem on any property whether pets are present or not. Fleas and ticks live in large populations outside and are continually being introduced onto properties by their wild animal hosts.
Both fleas and ticks are ectoparasites, which means they feed on their host's blood from outside their body. The sole source of nutrition for both fleas and ticks is blood from people and animals. The flea's preferred hosts are animals, while the tick will attach itself to anything that brushes past it. Fleas and ticks will feed on the blood of a variety of hosts, including cats, dogs, people, rodents, and wild animals.
Fleas are a type of insect identified by a body flattened from side to side, with large, powerful back legs they use to jump onto hosts and away from danger. Fleas lack wings. The most common fleas living in our area are cat fleas and dog fleas, with cat fleas being most widespread.
Ticks are a type of arachnid that are wingless and cannot jump. They have a four-stage life cycle, with each stage requiring a blood meal from a new host. You can identify different tick species by their distinct color patterns and body shape. The most common ticks living in our area are American dog ticks, Lone star ticks, and deer ticks.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
As ticks feed, they pass on saliva pathogens and bacteria that cause diseases like Lyme disease (deer ticks), Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia. Ticks are dangerous to people because of the various diseases they spread through the saliva. They feed slowly (over days), allowing plenty of time to pass any diseases they may be carrying to their host.
Flea bites are very itchy, and itching at the bite sites may lead to a secondary infection. Dogs or cats that are severely allergic to their saliva develop a flea allergy dermatitis that is very uncomfortable and may lead to hair loss. Fleas spread some diseases, so controlling their numbers in and around our homes is always important. The biggest concern in regards to fleas is their ability to spread parasitic tapeworms. Fleas are intermediate hosts of tapeworms and can infect people, our pets, and wild animals with the parasites.
Why do I have a flea & tick problem?
Most come into contact with fleas and ticks during the spring, summer, and fall months. Fleas and ticks are most active and feeding during the warm weather months in Ohio. When a mild winter occurs with not a lot of below-freezing temperatures, it allows many more fleas and ticks to survive the winter and causes larger populations to develop right off the bat in the spring.
Fleas and ticks feed and move from place to place on the backs of their hosts. As wild animals cross through your yard or neighborhood pets visit, they introduce fleas and ticks onto your property. Then, when you or your pets spend time outside in your yard and come into contact with the fleas and ticks, they'll be introduced into your home.
Fleas can breed indoors and can quickly become a significant problem inside our homes. On the other hand, the ticks in our area cannot reproduce indoors and are typically not a major threat inside. If they are inside, they'll be on a host (you or your pet).
Where will I find fleas & ticks?
American Dog ticks are found outside in areas with little or no tree cover, like grassy fields, meadows, or open parks. They also hang out along walkways, sidewalks, and walking trails.
Lone star ticks frequent wooded areas, fields, or other areas with a lot of dense vegetation. They tend to be more common around homes and buildings in rural areas. Deer ticks live in shady, moist areas clinging to tall grass, brush, and shrubs, waiting for a host to brush past them. Our lawns and gardens also make good hideouts for deer ticks living in mulch, around stone landscaping walls, and along fence lines.
Fleas introduced to our homes often hide in rugs, upholstered furniture, bedding, between cracks in floors, and behind baseboards. Outside, fleas hide under piles of leaves, shrubs, woodpiles, or brush piles. They do best in damp, shady areas.
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
Partner with a trustworthy and experienced professional to accurately identify and treat the fleas and ticks that have found a way onto your Ohio property. Both fleas and ticks can constantly be introduced onto your property by wild animals, making controlling their populations and keeping them out of your home tricky.
At Ohio Pest Control, Inc., we can provide the customized services needed to control and eliminate both fleas and ticks. We will protect your family and property from problems with fleas, ticks, and other outdoor pests. To discover more about our flea and tick control options, reach out to the local professionals at Ohio Pest Control today!
How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?
In conjunction with our effective services, our prevention tips will help you defend your yard and home against fleas and ticks:
- Regularly vacuum rugs and upholstered furniture to remove stray fleas from your home that may have come inside on you or your pets.
- Place all pets on a year-round flea and tick preventative and regularly groom them.
- If applicable, create a barrier between any wooded areas or fields and your yard.
- Cut back shrubs and bushes that have become overgrown in your yard and that provide the shade and moisture fleas and ticks are drawn to.
- Keep the grass in your yard cut short; these pests love to hide in tall grass.
- Place a fence around your yard to keep your pets from wandering around in unwanted areas and coming into contact with fleas and ticks.
- Remove bird feeders and keep lids on trash cans to make your property less attractive to rodents and other wild animals.
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