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!
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.
Checking for Ticks
The weather is warming up which means it’s prime time for outside activities. Among the fun that can be had in the great outdoors there are also some concerns. One being TICKS. Ticks are found in high vegetation areas, usually in tall grass. They await a host (human, dog, deer, etc) that they can latch on to and consume a blood meal. Checking for ticks is important if you’ve recently spent time outside.
Ticks have 4 life stages, egg, larva, nymph, and adult. To go from one life stage to another they have to get blood from a host. Most ticks need 3-4 hosts to complete their life cycle.
Once a tick is fully engorged, weighing 200-600 times what it did before the meal, they drop off the host, digest, molt, and then find another host to feed off of.
Ticks bites can cause irritation to the skin of people and pets. In some instances they can cause allergic reaction, transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If you, your kids, or your pets have spent time outdoors it is important that you thoroughly check for ticks on the body, especially the hair.
For more information on ticks:
Dr. Goo's Corner: Ticks
Tick Prevention from the EPA
According to new information gathered by the CDC the number of lyme disease cases is 10 times higher than the 30,000 cases each year that has previously been reported. Because not every case is reported, recent efforts have uncovered that the number of lyme disease cases is about 300,000 each year. The CDC is conducting 3 complimentary studies to improve their count of lyme disease cases.
How to Properly Remove a Tick
To prevent tick bites:
- Avoid thick areas of vegetation.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet when going outside.
- Use insect repellant such as DEET.
- Bathe as soon as possible when returning from being outside. This allows you to find ticks easier.
- Check yourself for ticks from head to toe, especially in your hair. Make sure to check your children when they return from being outside.
- Check any jackets, hats, bags, etc. that may have come into contact with ticks.
- Dry clothes on high heat to kill any ticks on clothing and/or accessories.
- Talk to your veterinarian on the best solutions to keep ticks away from your pets.
- Check your pets when they come in from being outside.
- Immediately remove ticks if found on a human or a pet. Find out How to Remove a Tick.
- Keep grass cut and vegetation trimmed to reduce areas for ticks to call home.
For more information on Lyme disease visit the CDC.
For more information on how to control ticks visit Northwest Exterminating.
It’s important to protect yourself and your pets from ticks this season! Keep reading for more information on the little suckers!
- Size varies depending on the species and type.
- More closely related to spiders than insects.
- Can have either a soft or a hard body.
- Usually brought into homes by animals.
- Feed on animals and humans for their blood meal.
- Live in low lying areas such as grass, shrubs, and bushes while waiting for a passing host to attach themselves on to.
- Female ticks have about 3,000 eggs in the spring time.
- Ticks feed on humans, mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and birds.
- American dog tick
- Blacklegged/deer/bear tick
- Brown dog tick
- Lone Star Tick
- Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
- Ticks attach themselves to animals or humans to obtain their blood meal by biting the victim.
- Can cause irritation around the site of the bite, allergic reaction, or cause the mouth parts to get stuck in the skin when the tick is removed.
- Known to transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.
- When in wooded areas or tall grass, wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes.
- Use a bug repellant that contains DEET.
- Keep grass and other vegetation on your property properly cut and maintained.
- Inspect yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
- Inspect your pets for ticks after being outdoors.
- If you find a tick, use tweezers to remove the tick with a slow, gentle, upward pressure.
OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Call Northwest Exterminating for information on how to protect your home and loved ones from ticks.
They don’t call him Man’s Best Friend for no reason. Dogs, and cats (we can’t forget our beloved cats) are truly part of the family. We treat them and take care of them just as we would any other member of the family. That’s why it is important that we protect them from outdoor pests that can cause serious health risks to our furry friends. Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are all predicted to make a heavy appearance this season as the weather warms up.
Ticks are most commonly found on our pets. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and cause tick paralysis.
Fleas can cause itchy, red bumps that cause animals to scratch. Fleas are also easily brought into the home where they can invade your living space and reproduce. Fleas can cause anemia, skin issues, and even tapeworms for our pets.
Heartworms and West Nile Virus are some of the more serious issues that come along with mosquitoes. A bite can manifest into a full heartworm in 6-7 months in a dog, and 8 months in a cat.
Keep your pets healthy by following some of these tips to controlling ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes:
- Regularly scheduled pest control service in and around your home will help keep pests away that can cause risks to your pets. (Call Northwest Exterminating for our NorPest Green Pest Control service. Our program is kid and pet friendly while keeping the bugs away. Our Green Mosquito Program also keeps mosquitoes away while using Earth friendly solutions.)
- Check your dog and cat on a regular basis. Check for excessive scratching, bumps, fleas, and ticks.
- Keep vegetation cut and trimmed.
- Bathe pets regularly.
- Remove standing water in yard where mosquitoes breed.
- Vacuum frequently.
- Ask your veterinarian about Flea and Tick prevention and heartworm prevention.
Contact Northwest Exterminating if you think you have a problem with fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes. Keep your pets healthy!