Fleas & Ticks

What are fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks are external, parasitic pests that feed on the blood of both people and animals. Fleas are insects that are about the size of a fleck of dirt. They have hard, flat bodies that are shiny and dark brownish-red in color. Fleas are wingless but have powerful back legs that allow them to leap vertically seven inches and horizontally thirteen inches. Fleas also have specialized spines on their mouth, legs, and back to prevent them from easily falling off of their host.

a deer tick crawling on a blade of grass outside in dallas texas

Ticks are not insects. They are actually closely related to spiders. Ticks have oval-shaped bodies, are wingless, and adults have eight legs. How a tick looks depends on its species, but in general, they are brown, black, or orangish-red in color, and many have distinct markings. Ticks use their specialized mouthparts to grasp the skin of their victim, pierce it, and insert a feeding tube to suck out the blood. Ticks are small in size, but their bodies will enlarge in a balloon-like manner after feeding.

Are fleas and ticks dangerous?

Both fleas and ticks are dangerous pests due to their ability to spread diseases and parasites to people, wild animals, and our pets. Fleas are responsible for transmitting some diseases and parasitic tapeworms. Many people and animals are allergic to their saliva, which can cause an itchy dermatitis. If your pet has a severe infestation, fleas' constant feeding can cause them to become anemic. Ticks spread a wide range of diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.

Why do I have a flea and tick problem?

Fleas and ticks are introduced onto properties by wild animals. Once on a property, they will hide out in tall grasses and dense vegetation until a new host happens by that they can attach themselves to. People and pets often come into contact with both fleas and ticks when spending time outside in their own backyards, at the park, at campsites, or at playgrounds. Additionally, if you own pets and they go to the vet, kennel, or neighborhood dog park, they could come into contact with fleas and ticks.

Where will I find fleas and ticks?

Ticks live outside in areas of tall grasses, dense vegetation, in ditches, along ponds, or along the edges of woods. Ticks can be introduced into homes on a person or pet, but most species won’t be able to live successfully inside. Fleas live outside in shady, moist areas - underneath shrubs, bushes, decks, and porches. Fleas most often find their way into homes on pets or people’s clothing. Fleas can also be introduced into homes after people purchase used furniture or rugs for use within their homes that have adult fleas or their eggs on them. Unlike ticks, fleas thrive in indoor environments. They are prolific breeders and indoor infestations can become quite large and overwhelming to deal with.

How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?

The best way to solve your property’s flea and tick problem is to partner with a local pest control company. When you partner with Cantu Pest & Termite, our knowledgeable and friendly professionals will provide the comprehensive services needed to eliminate fleas and ticks and prevent their return. With over 30 years in the pest control industry, we are proud to provide all of our customers with dependable, affordable, and eco-friendly residential and commercial pest control solutions. To learn more about eliminating fleas and ticks and other household pests from your Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, or surrounding area home or property, reach out to Cantu!

How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following tips can help to prevent problems with fleas and ticks on your Texas property:

  • Partner with your pet’s veterinarian and place your pet on a year-round flea and tick control program.

  • Keep your grass cut short and cut down overgrown shrubs and landscaping on your property.

  • Regularly groom and bathe your pets.

  • Remove bird feeders that could attract wild animals to your property.

  • Trim wooded areas away from your property line and place a stone barrier between wooded areas and your lawn.

  • It is also important to inspect yourself, your children, and your pets for fleas and ticks before coming inside after spending time outdoors.

 

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