How To Identify Ticks & Fleas

How To Identify Ticks & Fleas

South Florida Pest Control: Fleas and Ticks

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


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 back legs that are strong, allowing them to jump repeatedly from one host to another. A common indication that your pet has fleas is noticing them repeatedly scratch and groom 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.


Depending on their species, ticks can be a variety of sizes and colors. There are two groups of ticks to look out for: the hard ticks and the soft ticks. The most common species in North America include the deer tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick, and the American dog tick. While these ticks may look different, they are all seeking a blood meal and a humid place to inhabit. 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 the 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 these pests 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 or repellent treatment for your pets; make sure to consult your veterinarian on the right product for your pet
  • After returning from the outdoors, check both 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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