What are fleas and ticks?
Ectoparasites are organisms that feed on the blood of their host from the outside of their body. Two of the most common and problematic ectoparasites living in Florida are the flea and tick.
Fleas are a type of insect and are brownish-red or dark brown. Their oval-shaped body is flattened from side to side and covered in a hard-shell. Fleas have tube-like mouthparts they use to feed on the blood of a host. While ticks feed on many different hosts, fleas tend to live and feed on one host. Two types of fleas live in Florida and regularly take over our yards and homes are cat fleas and dog fleas.
Like spiders, ticks are arachnids. The soft, oval body of a tick is wingless, and adults have eight legs. Blacklegged ticks, Lone star ticks, and American dog ticks are a common threat for people and animals living in Florida. Ticks have a four-stage life cycle (egg, larvae, nymph, adult), and at each life stage, they require a new host to consume another blood meal. Their many hosts allow these pests to be vectors of many diseases that affect both people and animals.
Are fleas and ticks dangerous?
Neither ticks nor fleas are welcome on our properties or in our homes as each species poses dangers to people and our pets. However, ticks tend to be more of a problem because they are vectors of serious diseases, including Lyme disease, that make people and our pets very ill.
Fleas spread some diseases and are intermediate hosts of tapeworm, but the most common concern with these pests is the itchy rashes they cause around their bites. Flea bites are very itchy, and excessive scratching can lead to secondary infections. Pets with a heavy flea infestation may also develop a loss of hair, open sores, and anemia.
Why do I have a flea and tick problem?
As a rule, Florida’s heat and humidity allow many pests to live successfully in large populations, and fleas and ticks are no exception. Fleas and ticks are constantly being introduced into our yards by wild animals, rodents, and stray pets. After you, your kids, or pets come into contact with fleas or ticks that are in your yard, you can accidentally introduce them into your home. Typically it only fleas that become a problem inside our homes as most ticks can’t complete their life cycle indoors.
Where will I find fleas and ticks ?
While fleas feed on the human blood, we aren’t their preferred hosts, and they don’t live on our bodies like they do an animal host. New adults that have not yet found a host lie in wait in damp, dark areas for an animal host to come by that they can jump onto. The damp soil under leaves, shrubs, or fallen trees is where fleas commonly hide. They also like to hide in tall grass. If fleas have gotten into your home, they will hide in upholstered furniture, rugs, and bedding.
Ticks live outside in the damp soil under leaf piles and in tall grass. They also are regularly found along wooded trails, ditches, and fence lines. Ticks can’t jump and move fairly slowly; they wait on the ends of grass and other vegetation for a host to brush past them that they can crawl onto.
How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
Trust EcoTech Pest Control Services with your property’s flea and tick control needs. Our proven methods will ensure that these blood-feeding pests won’t use you, your family, or your pets as a personal buffet station. Fleas and ticks are a year-round problem for Tampa residents; partnering with us and putting in place a recurring pest control service is the best way to get rid of these pests and keep them from returning to your property.
At EcoTech Pest Control Services, we provide our customers with unparalleled pest control solutions, excellent communication, and superior customer service. Call today to learn more!
How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?
- Don’t let your lawn go. Stay on top of lawn care and keep the grass cut short and shrubbery from becoming overgrown.
- Pick up your pet’s leftover food so it doesn’t attract stray animals or rodents to your property.
- Inspect yourself and your pets for fleas and ticks before coming inside your home after spending time outside.
- Regularly groom and bathe pets. In Florida, you should place your pets on a year-round flea and tick control program under their veterinarian’s guidance.
- Regularly vacuum your home and wash your bedding and pet bedding to help eliminate stray fleas and ticks.