Ticks and fleas are annoying pests that are commonly found in many outdoor spaces. Ticks or fleas make their way into households by latching onto pets as they play outside. Even though fleas don’t have wings, they are effective travelers and can jump further than any other insect. If an average-sized human had the same jumping ability as a flea, they would be able to jump 295 feet across and 160 feet high! The soft, warm fur of dogs and cats provides a perfect environment for fleas and ticks. These small insects feed on your pet’s blood and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses. Both fleas and ticks are more common during the warmer months but can still be a problem throughout the year.
Be On The Lookout For Ticks
Dogs are particularly susceptible to tick bites and can also carry them into the house. There are several tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease, Canine Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Canine Anaplasmosis that affect both humans and dogs. It is relatively easy to feel ticks when you pet your cat or dog, and they are large enough to be seen easily. They most often attach near the head, neck, ears, or paws. Here are some common strategies to keep as many ticks off your pets as possible:
- Check your dog or cat for ticks daily. Do a couple of checks every day if they spend a lot of time outside!
- Regularly keep your yard mowed and remove tall weeds.
- To protect yourself, wear long pants and socks when out in the woods or a field.
- Your local veterinarian can recommend topical or systemic tick-control treatments. Make sure to keep treatments up to date!
- Have your vet test for tick-borne diseases annually, even if your dog or cat shows no symptoms.
How To Identify Fleas
Fleas are small, wingless creatures about 2.5mm long. Their bodies are shiny, reddish-brown in color, and covered with microscopic hair that allows for easy movement through animal fur. Fleas are the most common cause of skin disease in dogs and cats. When a flea bites, it injects saliva into your pet’s skin, which may trigger an allergic reaction or skin infection. Signs of fleas on your pets include intense itching, hair loss, scabs, and red, irritated skin.
Just like ticks, pets can easily pick up fleas when outdoors. Indoor cats can get them even if they just go out on the patio or share their home with a dog. Fleas are very annoying since they like human blood too, and they can jump from your pet’s fur or bedding onto your skin. Some people have a bad reaction to flea bites and scratching the intense itches can lead to skin infections. For every flea you see on your pet, you can assume there are 100+ more in your house.
The Challenges of Flea Removal
Fleas are notoriously difficult to get rid of because of their 4-stage lifecycle. There are no pesticides on the market that can eliminate flea eggs, so pest professionals wait for the eggs to hatch before fleas are exposed to the growth regulators and chemical treatments. Local flea populations consist of roughly 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae, and 5% adults. It is very important to prepare before a flea service by vacuuming all carpeted surfaces and scheduling flea baths for pets during the time your home is being treated. Vacuuming will trigger the flea eggs in carpets to hatch because fleas are attracted to the heat and movement of the vacuum. Once your pets are treated, they will not reintroduce fleas to the house.
An adult flea can drop hundreds of eggs in its short life span. Each egg will hatch and breed within a few days, repeating the life cycle. For this reason, many Texas residents struggle to treat fleas on their own. Homeowners often forget fleas will bury their eggs in carpets and fabric around the house. Bug bombs don’t always penetrate the areas fleas congregate and if your pets or yard aren’t being treated at the same time, fleas will hitch a ride back inside. Scheduling a reoccurring treatment plan is always the best course of action to get rid of fleas once-and-for-all. At Tactical Pest Services, we have decades of experience to eliminate fleas and ticks from your home and yard. Our easy-to-schedule maintenance plans are unobtrusive and are designed to protect your home year-round. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out on our Contact Us page!