What are fleas and ticks?
Ticks are arachnids that solely feed on warm-blooded animals. Ticks feed on the blood of people in addition to wild animals, pets, and livestock. The brown dog tick is an example of a hard tick living in our region that regularly finds its way onto our properties. Brown dog ticks are reddish-brown with no distinguishing markings.
Fleas are also biting, blood-sucking pests. They are reddish-brown and have a body flattened from side to side. They also have large hind legs that help these wingless insects to jump onto their animal hosts. Dog and cat fleas are the two most common ticks we run into, with cat fleas being the most widespread. Like ticks, both dog fleas and cat fleas feed on many hosts, including dogs and cats, rodents, and wild animals. People are not a flea’s preferred host, but they will bite and feed on our blood if we are available.
Are fleas and ticks dangerous?
Both fleas and ticks are capable of transmitting diseases, with ticks being the bigger risk. Ticks spread many diseases that make people ill, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
While fleas are caple of spreading some disease in the U.S., it isn’t a huge concern. The most likely result of being bitten by fleas is a red itchy rash. Fleas bites are itchy, and excessive scratching at the rash site can lead to impetigo and other secondary infections.
Pets with a heavy infestation of fleas and ticks can develop anemia and become very ill. Protecting your pets from these parasites is not only essential for their health but also helps to keep fleas and ticks out of your home.
Why do I have a flea and tick problem?
While it is true that fleas and ticks love to feed on our pets’ blood, you don’t have to be a pet owner to experience problems with these pests. Fleas and ticks are most often introduced onto our properties by wild animals. When they live in your outdoor space, it's easy for you or your kids to come into contact with them and bring them indoors, or they can get inside by hitching a ride on the back of a rodent or other small animal.
The flea and tick’s small size and ability to hide in the fur of animals or clothing makes these pests easy to overlook. Oftentimes, it isn’t until a large infestation has developed that homeowners begin to notice a problem with these pests.
Where will I find fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks thrive in hot weather, making Arizona the perfect place for these pests to flourish. Almost any outdoor space in our region, including our yards, can become infested with fleas and ticks.
Outside, new adult fleas wait for a host to come by that they can jump onto in areas of damp soil found under leaf piles, woodpiles, and mulch. Fleas that have moved into our homes can establish large populations very quickly and, when not on a host, hide in upholstered furniture, rugs, bedding, and behind baseboards.
Ticks are mainly outdoor pests that crawl to the top of grass, weeds, and other vegetation to wait for a host that they can crawl onto to pass by. Fields, parks, wooded paths, fence lines, and ditches are common places to come into contact with ticks. Brown dog ticks are one of the few species able to complete their life cycle indoors and can become a problem in any home or indoor space.
Both fleas and ticks spend most of their lives on the backs of their animal hosts. Adults fleas typically have one host that they live, feed, and breed on while ticks have a four-stage life cycle and seek out a new host at each life stage.
How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
At Overson Pest Control, we understand how stressful it can be to have fleas and ticks living in your yard and home. The best way to protect your family from these biting pests is to contact us as soon as you notice their presence, or better yet, before they even become problem! Our trained professionals will come to your property and provide a thorough inspection and effective treatments.
With services backed by a 100% guarantee and unlimited free re-services, you can trust that we will rid your property of fleas and ticks. To explore more about working with us to remove fleas and ticks from your Phoenix area property, reach out to Overson Pest Control today!
How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?
- Reduce wild animal activity on your property by keeping lids on trash cans, removing bird feeders, and eliminating yard clutter.
- Use a fence to keep your pets in your yard and your neighbor’s pets out.
- Place pets on a year-round flea and tick preventative under the guidance of their veterinarian.
- Maintain your yard by keeping the grass cut short and regularly cutting back shrubbery.
- Remove brush, leaf piles, and other harborage sites from your yard.
- Repair holes in your home’s exterior that could allow rodents inside.
- Vacuum your home regularly.