With Tampa’s wonderful year-round temperatures, the invitation to go outdoors is always tempting. Whether you like to play, hike, or explore nature, there are some blood-feeding pests just waiting for you to “brush” by their ambush locations. If Tampa residents are not careful, a nasty pest just might come home with you.
Ways To Tell The Difference Between Fleas and Ticks?
Fleas and ticks are very different pests but both carry risks to Tampa locals. Information about their similarities and differences are as follows:
- Both are parasites that do not fly.
- Both feed off of the blood of animals and people.
- Both spend most of their lives living and feeding off an animal host.
- Both bite their victims and can transmit disease.
Fleas: Extremely small insects that measure between 1/12” to 1/6” long. Their coloration is dark red to brown. They have two antennae, six legs, and have an extremely thin body. Even though fleas do not have wings, their strong legs allow them to jump long distances. With bristles that point backward, fleas can move quickly through hair, fur, or feathers.
Ticks: Arachnids that can be as small as a pinhead and grow to the size of a pencil eraser after feeding. Their coloration can range from light brown to black with various markings. They have no antennae, 8 legs, and an oval-shaped body. Equipped with special mouthparts, they will bite and bury their head into a host. Ticks cannot jump or fly so they wait on tall grass or foliage and climb onto people or animals who pass by.
Problems Caused By Ticks And Fleas In Tampa
Even though ticks and fleas have many differences, they can both cause serious problems for property owners once they have infested an area. Since they are both patient parasites, they will wait outside on shrubs, bushes, in wooded areas, grassy meadows, leaf litters, woodpiles, etc., until either an animal or human provides transportation to their next victim. Once they start feeding, they can both pose health hazards for those they feed upon.
Most people associate flea problems with their pets, but they bite humans too. Victims of flea bites may experience itching, hives, a rash, and pain around the bite site. Fleas can transmit diseases like bubonic plague (which is rare), typhus, cat scratch disease, and tapeworms.
Victims of tick bites may experience rash, swelling, burning at the bite site, and possibly small blisters. Severe allergic reactions can also occur ranging from breathlessness to a fever. Diseases like Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Tularemia are also tick-borne diseases spread by ticks in the Tampa area.
How To Lower Flea And Tick Populations Around The Tampa Area
Keeping fleas and ticks as far away from your property should be a priority for property owners. Preventative measures can be taken both inside and out.
Property precautions to take around the yard are as follows:
- Keep grass cut low.
- Store firewood up off the ground.
- Use gravel or wood chips to create a barrier around your property.
- Secure bird feeders and use garbage cans with lids.
- Remove any leaf litter.
- Clear overgrown vegetation or brush.
- Build fencing around your yard to prevent flea and tick-carrying wildlife from accessing your property.
Personal precautions to consider are as follows:
- Apply insect repellent when enjoying outdoor activities.
- Wear long clothes when moving through tick and flea hotspots.
- Wash and check your body after outdoor activities.
- Keep the house clean and tidy.
- Vacuum frequently.
- Regularly wash bed linens.
The Best Form Of Tick & Flea Control In Tampa
Flea and tick infestations can be difficult to control. Bold Servicing can identify whether you are experiencing fleas or ticks and give you solutions for control and removal. Call Bold Servicing today for professional assistance in handling fleas and ticks both inside and outdoors on your property.