Fleas & Ticks

What are fleas & ticks?

Fleas and ticks are small parasitic insects that depend on the blood of a host to survive. Both pests are capable of biting humans, but usually would rather bite animals with thick fur coats instead. Fleas are very small and have strong legs that allow them to hop from host to host. These tiny pests feed on and live on animals, making flea infestations difficult to prevent. Ticks, on the other hand, can’t hop or fly. Instead, they wait in areas of tall grass for animals or humans to pass by their hiding spot and then crawl onto them. Here in our area of Spring, Texas, we commonly deal with cat fleas, blacklegged ticks (deer ticks), and dog ticks.

a flea crawling in pet hair in spring texas

Are fleas & ticks dangerous?

Fleas and ticks can be dangerous to the health of both you and your pets. If these pests are able to bite you or your pets, they can cause serious problems. Cat fleas can bite humans, but are more of a problem for your pets. Animals may scratch excessively and experience hair loss if they have fleas. Extended flea exposure can occasionally lead to your pets developing anemia as well. Ticks bite humans more frequently than fleas do and are known for spreading several dangerous diseases. A few of the diseases ticks can transmit to humans include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and several others. However, just because you get bitten by a tick doesn’t mean you’ll always contract an illness. Not every tick is infected with diseases and, even if they are, they must stay attached to your skin for several hours before a disease can be transmitted.

Why do I have a flea & tick problem?

Fleas and ticks are usually brought to your property by pets or wild animals, unlike other insect pests. Ticks may lay eggs on your property before they attach to another animal, or fleas might lay eggs on your pet and those eggs roll off their backs. Either way, fleas and ticks are often a result of existing pest problems and a normal part of owning a pet. Moisture and food sources are common attractants for pests, and those pests might bring fleas and ticks onto your property.

Where will I find fleas & ticks?

Ticks often hide in thick brush, leaf piles, and other organic matter as they wait for a host to walk by. Once on a host, ticks will latch on and feed until their bodies become swollen. Female ticks breed on their hosts and then drop off the animal to lay their eggs on the ground. The most common places you will find both deer ticks and dog ticks are on the bodies of the hosts they are feeding from. These ticks are also commonly found hiding out in grassy or wooded areas next to fence lines, roads, sidewalks, and walking paths, and are often introduced into homes on people or pets; since deer ticks and most species of dog ticks can't breed indoors, they aren't considered a major indoor threat.

Adult fleas spend most of their lives on a host, being transported from location to location. Flea eggs may hatch while in the grass or your carpet; however, they will hatch soon after and climb onto areas such as pet beds or couch cushions where they can find a meal. Cat fleas live outside in moist, sandy, shady areas and are often introduced inside by pets, on the clothing of people, or in used items like rugs and upholstered furniture. 

When are fleas & ticks most active?

Adult deer ticks and dog ticks are active when temperatures are above freezing. This makes both species a year-round threat to animals and people living in Texas. Cat fleas are most active during the spring, summer, and fall. They are considered an indoor threat throughout eastern Texas because they can complete their entire lifecycles inside as the temperature-controlled environment provided by homes allows them to breed, as well as allows their eggs to develop throughout the year.

Interesting facts about fleas & ticks

Fleas & ticks are commonly misunderstood as being simply small, annoying pests. To help you better understand these interesting creatures, here are three interesting facts:

1. Fleas have a vertical jump of more than 150 times their own height. If people had the same ability, we would be able to jump over skyscrapers! The cat flea is the most common species of flea that comes into contact with people and animals in the United States. Cat fleas feed on a variety of hosts including deer, dogs, livestock, raccoons, rodents, skunks, and people.

2. As their name suggests, the dog tick’s favorite hosts are canines. However, these ticks also feed on a variety of other mammal hosts, including people. The brown dog tick is one of the only species of ticks that can complete its entire life cycle indoors, making them a threat inside of grooming facilities, homes, kennels, and vet offices.

3. Young deer ticks are only the size of poppy seeds which makes them very difficult to spot and avoid. Deer ticks are responsible for spreading the very serious Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorfei. They are infected with the bacteria after feeding on mice and other mammals already infected with the bacteria. The infected tick then spreads the bacteria to people and other animals through its saliva.

How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?

Removing a flea or tick infestation from your Texas property is far from easy. These small parasitic pests reproduce rapidly, which can create large infestations in a very short period of time. DIY flea and tick prevention methods rarely ever work completely, and could even make your infestation worse. The most reliable and trusted way to eliminate flea or tick infestations from your residential or commercial property is with the pest control professionals here at Kingston Pest Control by your side.

Kingston Pest Control is happy to provide you with a solution for all your pest problems. No matter how severe or difficult your infestation may seem, we have what it takes to keep you and your property protected. To find out how our flea and tick control services can help your pest problems disappear, contact Kingston Pest Control today!

How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?

To prevent fleas and ticks, as well as other animals that may carry these parasitic pests, from invading your eastern Texas home or business, consider the following tips:

  • Check your foundation and exterior walls for cracks and crevices and seal any that you find with caulk.

  • Seal your garbage cans to avoid attracting rodents to your property that could be carrying fleas and ticks.

  • Equip your pets with vet-approved flea and tick collars and put your pet on a veterinarian-recommended flea and tick prevention plan.

  • Remove brush, foliage, leaf litter, and other organic materials that ticks could hide in from your property.

 

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