What Are Fleas and Ticks?
Fleas and ticks are parasitic pests that feed on blood as their only source of nutrition. While commonly associated with pet owners, either one of these pests could make themselves at home on your Northwest Arkansas property, whether you own pets or not.
Cat and dog fleas are two different flea species that live throughout Northwest Arkansas and most of the United States. The differences between the two species are really only noticeable under a microscope. Cat fleas are the most widespread species and the most likely to cause an infestation.
Both types of fleas feed on the blood of many different hosts, including cats and dogs, rodents, wild animals, livestock, and people. Fleas are insects that have a tiny body flattened from side to side and six spine-covered legs. They are wingless, but their two large back legs allow them to jump great distances and heights.
Ticks are arachnids that, like fleas, also feed on the blood of many warm-blooded hosts, including people. There are two different types of ticks — hard ticks and soft ticks.
Hard ticks have a hard shield just behind their head. Before feeding, these ticks resemble a small seed. They are the most common type of tick we find feeding on us and our pets.
Soft ticks lack the hard shell near their head and look similar to a raisin. Usually, soft ticks prefer to feed on bird and bat blood and we don't regularly come into contact with them.
Are Fleas and Ticks Dangerous?
Ticks are more of a health threat to people than fleas as they spread diseases that can make people quite ill. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia are examples of diseases spread by ticks.
While fleas can spread some disease and parasitic tapeworm, their bites are most problematic because of the itchy, uncomfortable rashes they leave behind. Many people and animals are allergic to their saliva and develop flea-bite dermatitis. Secondary infections caused by itching flea bites can occur, especially in young kids.
In addition, a yard covered in fleas and ticks makes it hard for you and your pets to enjoy it to the fullest. Fearing your pets, or you or a family member, will be bitten by fleas or ticks makes spending time outdoors difficult.
Why Do I Have a Flea and Tick Problem?
People and our pets can come into contact with fleas and ticks in a variety of outdoor spaces, including parks, wooded trails, athletic fields, campgrounds, and of course, our backyards. Fleas and ticks can travel long distances on the back of a host, introducing them onto new properties as they nest and forage. Wild animals, stray pets, and your own pets can all introduce fleas and ticks into your yard.
Fleas and ticks can get into our homes in a variety of ways:
- After spending time in an area infested with either fleas or ticks, there is a good chance that you or your pets will come into contact with them and introduce them into your yard or home.
- Both fleas and ticks can be carried into our homes on the back of a rodent or other wild animal intruder.
- Fleas are often introduced indoors on used furniture or rugs.
Where Will I Find Fleas and Ticks?
While ticks can get inside, it is rare for a large infestation to develop because most can't complete their breeding cycle indoors. However, seeing ticks inside your home is often a sign that they may be living in your yard in large numbers and are finding a way inside either on you or your pets. Outside, ticks waiting for a host like to hide in dark, damp areas like leaf piles, woodpiles, and wooded trails.
Fleas live most of their lives on the back of a host. New adults wait for a host to come by hiding in sandy soil, leaf piles, woodpiles, shrubbery, and near wild animal nesting sites. Inside our homes, fleas frequently hide in rugs, upholstered furniture, and bedding. Fleas are capable of breeding indoors and developing large and hard to manage populations inside.
Let the experts at Rumble Pest Solutions of Arkansas help you rid your property of fleas and ticks. Our quarterly pest control services will eliminate current problems with fleas and ticks and prevent them from taking over your indoor and outdoor spaces in the future. At Rumble Pest Solutions of Arkansas, our mission is to protect your family, your home, and the environment.
We want to give you peace of mind in knowing your most important assets are being protected! If you need help ridding your property of biting, blood-feeding fleas, and ticks, give us a call today and learn more about our effective pest control solutions!
How Can I Prevent Fleas and Ticks In The Future?
The following tips will help you prevent fleas and ticks from taking over your yard and home:
- Mow your grass often to keep it short.
- Rake up leaves in the fall that have fallen to the ground.
- Cut back overgrown shrubs and bushes.
- Regularly inspect your pets for signs of fleas and ticks, and place them on a year-round flea control program.
- Inspect used items like rugs and upholstered furniture for fleas.
- Regularly and thoroughly vacuum your home to pick up stray fleas and ticks.
- Routinely wash both your bedding and, if you own pets, their bedding.
Call us today our Springdale, AK location (479) 349-2560, Springfield, MO Location (417) 551-6081, or our Jefferson City, MO Location 573-508-0277
“The technicians are always timely and professional. They are thorough and pleasant to deal with. They do a good job with treating the yard, eaves, and the inside of the house.”