How To Identify Fleas & Ticks in South Florida

How To Identify Fleas & Ticks in South Florida

South Florida Fleas and Ticks: What’s the Difference?

Fleas and ticks can harm our family and pets, latching onto us for a blood meal. While these pests are small, they come with big health risks by transmitting diseases. As warmer weather continues outside, these pests will do the same, thriving in South Florida’s climate. Fleas and ticks often get confused with one another, so it’s helpful to understand the difference between the two so you can keep your family protected.

Fleas

Fleas are wingless with a reddish-brown, flattened body. Adult fleas will range up to 1/6 of an inch in length. These creatures have mouthparts that are adapted for sucking blood from a host. What is unique about fleas is that they have long, strong back legs that allow them to jump repeatedly from one host to another. A common indication that your pet has fleas is noticing them repeatedly scratching and grooming themselves. Likewise, for humans, fleas will leave behind itchy bite marks on the skin. Another sign is spotting flea feces, or flea dirt, throughout your home. Flea dirt looks like coarse ground black pepper and is typically found in areas where a pet rests.

Ticks

Depending on their species, ticks come in a variety of sizes and colors. There are two groups of ticks to look out for: hard ticks and soft ticks. The most common tick species in North America include the deer tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick, and American dog tick. While these ticks may look different, they are all seeking a blood meal and a humid place to habitat. They are often found in wooded or vegetated areas. When they find a host, they will typically latch onto the face, legs, armpits, belly, and even in-between toes!

Preventing Fleas & Ticks

Taking precautions before you leave home with your family or pet can help reduce the chances of a flea or tick infestation. Here are a couple of preventative measures you can take to prevent fleas and ticks from biting you, your family, and your pets:

  • Wear light-colored clothing and long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toed shoes before exploring wooded or grassy areas
  • Utilize insect repellent containing DEET before you leave the house
  • Utilize flea repellent treatment for your pets, making sure to consult your veterinarian on the right product for your pet
  • After returning from the outdoors, check yourself, your family, and your pets for any ticks and fleas
  • Vacuum your home frequently, especially in hard-to-reach spots such as baseboards, under furniture, under cushions, and where your pets sleep or rest
  • Keep your lawn grass cut short to help reduce tick and flea populations on your property
  • Contact your local South Florida pest control company to inspect, provide a treatment plan, and recommend prevention for the future.

 

 

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Protecting Your Pets from Fleas and Ticks

Protecting Your Pets from Fleas and Ticks

With the arrival of warmer weather, most of us will be spending more time outside with our pets. But while we enjoy being outdoors more, it can expose us and our pets to certain pests, such as fleas and ticks. These parasitic insects carry many diseases, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis.

Fleas and ticks can be difficult to keep at bay, often taking weeks to control. There are many ways to protect you and your pets from these pests; continue reading to find out how.

Year-Round Preventative

While fleas and ticks are more common in the summer months, this doesn’t mean they are completely gone. Some tend to survive the winter months indoors, causing havoc year-round. To prevent your pets from being exposed throughout the year, check with your veterinarian to see the best treatment methods for them. Always properly administer and check the expiration date on any treatments given to your pets.

Check your Pets Regularly

If your pet frequents the outdoors, inspecting them before returning indoors will help keep the fleas and ticks away. Ticks like to find warm spots, so checking your pet’s ears, skin, and under armpits are the best places to search. Remove any ticks you might find and reach out to your vet if your pet has been bitten.

Clean-Up Weekly

Cleaning up your pet’s sleep area at least once a week is a good way to deter or get rid of any pests that have shown up. Get a dog/cat bed that is washable and wipe down their areas frequently. Vacuuming often is also a good way to keep fleas away.

Fleas are known to live in carpets, rugs, and pet bedding. They also avoid high traffic areas, so don’t miss vacuuming near baseboards, under furniture, under cushions, and anywhere your pets sleep or spend significant time.

Keep Your Yard Clean and Don’t Attract Wildlife

Fleas prefer warm, moist, shady areas, while ticks like to hide in tall grass. Mowing your lawn regularly and keeping shrubs trimmed back will give them fewer places to hide in your yard.

Attracting wildlife will surely bring more ticks and fleas into your yard. Try not to leave food and water bowls outside overnight. Keep pet food sealed in containers, use trash cans with locking lids, and seal crawlspaces, garages, sheds, and decks.

If you have taken these preventative measures but are still experiencing a tick and flea problem, it might be time to reach out to your local pest control company for further assistance.

Fleas & Ticks: What’s the Difference?

Fleas & Ticks: What’s the Difference?

While we soak up the last of the summer weather, many of us are hiking mountains, exploring parks, or just enjoying our backyard. While these activities are great for the whole family, there is a chance of being exposed to fleas and ticks. These pests are extremely small, making them hard to spot and dangerous if not treated in enough time. We break down the difference between these two pests and how you can prevent their bites.

Ticks

Ticks are about 1/8 of an inch and can be a wide range of colors, often dark. These insects usually live in low-lying areas such as grass, shrubs, and bushes. To survive, they need blood and will often feed on humans, squirrels, raccoons, birds, dogs, and more. Their bites can cause irritation or even an allergic reaction. Their mouthparts will even remain on the host’s skin.

These pests can be dangerous as they will transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.

Fleas

Dark reddish-brown in color, fleas are also only 1/8 of an inch long. These pests are found in various environments, but they prefer and are most active in warm, humid temperatures. Like ticks, fleas feed on a host for blood, including humans, but would prefer to feed on hairy animals such as dogs, cats, rats, opossums, and more. Fleas can be tough to spot as they move from host to host very quickly.

If bitten, they can cause small, red, itchy spots on the skin. If the spot is scratched too many times, it can begin to bleed.

Preventing both fleas and ticks from biting you can seem daunting since they can be hard to find, but it’s all about taking precautions before you head out on your next adventure! Here are a couple of easy things to do to prevent fleas and ticks from biting you and your family:

  • If exploring in tall grass or wooded areas, make sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toed shoes.
  • Always use insect repellent that contains DEET before you leave your house.
  • If you take your pets, treat them with repellent products to reduce their risk of getting bitten.
  • After your adventure, check yourself and your pets for any ticks or fleas. Some common places they like to latch onto are the backs of knees, armpits, scalp, the back of the neck, and behind the ears.
  • If you’ve noticed these insects are infesting your yard or getting inside the house, consider calling your local pest control company where they can inspect and provide a prevention plan.
Preventing Ticks & Fleas

Preventing Ticks & Fleas

Fleas and ticks are small, annoying, and can be a major health risk to both your family and pets. These parasites can transfer diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. While it can be difficult to prevent these pests, it is possible. We break down our tips and tricks on keeping these pests away!

Vacuum Frequently

Fleas like to live in carpets, rugs, and pet bedding. To keep these pests from infesting, consider vacuuming at least once a week and even more often if you spot fleas. Fleas also avoid high traffic areas and will live in harder-to-reach spots such as baseboards, under furniture, under cushions, and anywhere your pets like to sleep too.

Check Your Pets

Pets are highly susceptible to flea and tick exposure. Both fleas and ticks will jump onto pet’s skins, easily making their way inside your home. Perform tick and flea checks on your pets regularly. Make sure that you’re checking all over your pet’s skin, in ears, and under their armpits. If you find a tick or flea, remove them immediately and notify your veterinarian to provide the best treatment plan for your pets.

Stop Attracting Wildlife

Opossums, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and even feral cats will bring fleas and ticks into your yard. It’s essential to keep this wildlife from entering your property to help avoid a flea and tick infestation. Check around your property for any items that might be attracting these animals, such as pet bowls, water bowls, opened trash cans, and even bird feeders. Check around your house for any open holes in gaps that lead to your garage, sheds, decks, and crawlspaces.

It can be difficult to prevent fleas and ticks on your own. If you suspect that you have a flea and tick infestation, consider calling your local professional pest control company to inspect your property and provide you with the best plan of action.

What to Know About Fleas & Ticks

What to Know About Fleas & Ticks

The weather is warming up, many of us are starting to spend time outside with our friends, family, and pets. Enjoying the outdoors has its benefits but also the disadvantage of coming across nuisance pests! Two common spring pests that can be harmful to both humans and pets are ticks and fleas. These insects will typically latch onto us or our animals, making their way inside homes, bringing the risk of infestation.

Fleas

Fleas tend to be dark red or brown, with their size varying between ½” to 1/6” in length. Fleas have a flat body, two antennae, and six legs. These pests will bite both humans and pets such as dogs and cats. Fleas have the incredible ability to jump to great heights, sometimes up to eight feet high! Jumping allows them to hitchhike into homes while hidden in pet fur. Dogs and cats will often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or spending time outdoors. Once fleas have latched onto an animal host, they tend to stay there and then will easily transfer over to furniture or other animals. Fleas can be a health risk as their saliva is known to cause anemia, dermatitis, and facilitate and transfer tapeworms.

Ticks

There are two categories when identifying ticks: soft ticks and hard ticks. The soft tick will feed on bats and birds while the hard tick will feed on humans, pets, and nuisance wildlife. People and animals are likely to encounter ticks during the warmer months. Ticks can pose several health threats to humans and animals as they can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease and “tick paralysis.” Some tick species, such as the American Dog Tick, prefer to attach and feed on domestic dogs, which in turn allows them to sneak into our homes. When ticks feed, they can grow up to four times in size when engorged with blood, making them much easier to spot.

Controlling fleas and ticks can sometimes feel like an impossible task, especially if you have animals. If you suspect that you have a flea and tick problem, consider calling your local professional pest company who can thoroughly inspect your entire property and provide you with a treatment and prevention plan.

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