Fleas & Ticks
What are fleas & ticks?
Fleas and ticks are two of the world’s most common ectoparasites. Being an ectoparasite means they consume blood meals from the outside of the host’s body. Both fleas and ticks feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals as their sole source of nutrition. Fleas and ticks are most active during the warm, humid summer months, but in the southern portion of the United States are active throughout most of the year.
We deal with dog and cat fleas in our area, with cat fleas being the most widespread species. The difference between the two species is microscopic and so what is most important is not what species of flea is present, but that fleas are present on your property. Fleas are tiny wingless insects with large back legs they use for jumping. They have a distinct reddish-brown body that is flattened from side to side.
There are many species of ticks in Florida, with the deer tick being one of the most common and concerning species. These ticks are small and brownish-orange in color with distinctive darker-colored legs. Ticks are a type of arachnid, so adults have eight legs, are wingless, and lack antennae. Despite the descriptive names of cat fleas, dog fleas, and deer ticks, these parasites feed on a wide variety of hosts, including dogs, cats, deers, rodents, wild animals, and sometimes people.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
Ticks are only second to mosquitoes in their ability to spread diseases to people and animals. Deer ticks spread the debilitating Lyme disease, affecting people and pets. They also spread things like anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. Fleas also pose some dangers; they spread tularemia, bubonic plague, and murine typhus. They also regularly infect both people and animals with parasitic tapeworms.
Another cause for concern with fleas is that many people and animals are allergic to their saliva. After being bitten by fleas, a red itchy rash develops that is uncomfortable, and excessive scratching can create a secondary infection. Fleas consume 15 times their weight in blood; an animal heavily infested with fleas will develop anemia that can make them very ill. Also, being bitten by hundreds of fleas is uncomfortable and can lead to loss of fur and sores.
Why do I have a flea & tick problem?
If fleas and ticks are a problem in your yard, it is only a matter of time before they get into your house. While ticks typically aren’t a threat indoors, fleas are. Fleas breed rapidly and quickly take over homes. Ticks and fleas find themselves in your yard mainly because wild animals have introduced them. As animals move across your yard or choose it as a nesting spot, they bring with them the fleas and ticks they carry on their backs. Fleas often live indoors and hitchhike their way to new locations inside things like rugs, furniture, and bedding.
Where will I find fleas & ticks?
Outside, both fleas and ticks like to hide in damp, dark areas; the soil under woodpiles, leaf piles, mulch, shrubs, and decks often house these pests. Ticks enjoy places like tall grass and weeds; they like to climb to the tops of vegetation to wait for a host to brush past them so they can attach themselves to the host. Ticks are especially problematic in wooded areas, along the edges of paths, fence lines, and fields.
Fleas are introduced into our homes either by us, our pets, or rodent intruders. Inside a house, if they are not feeding on a host, they typically hide in bedding, rugs, or upholstered furniture. Most ticks cannot breed indoors; if you find a tick in your home, it generally is because they have fallen off a host or you or your pets.
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
To eliminate fleas and ticks and prevent an infestation, you need to partner with an experienced professional. At Bold Servicing, we understand how stressful fleas and ticks are and will quickly come to your aid, providing the necessary interior and exterior services needed to remove these pests and prevent them from returning. Our premium, full-service, monthly flea and tick control services in Tampa, FL, are convenient and effective. To learn more about eliminating fleas and ticks from your Tampa Bay Area home or business, reach out to us today!
How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?
Here are some prevention tips to help you keep fleas and ticks, and other pests out of your Florida home.
- Always keep your lawn cut short.
- Cut back dense shrubbery, tall grass, and weeds from your foundation.
- Create a stone or crushed rock barrier between your foundation and any mulch or grass.
- Remove piles of damp, decaying vegetation like grass, leaf, or woodpiles.
- Do not encourage wild animals to visit your yard; remove bird feeders, pick up pet food, and keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
- Keep rodents and other carriers of fleas and ticks out of your home by ensuring there are no openings in its exterior.
- Place any pets you own on a strict year-round flea and tick control program under the guidance of a veterinarian.