Fleas & Ticks

What are fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks are external parasitic pests that feed on the blood of people and animals. Both are small in size, but their bodies expand like a balloon after feeding. Fleas are insects, while ticks are not. Ticks are arachnids, a close relative of mites and spiders. The cat flea is the most common flea found in Charlotte, NC. The most common ticks found in North Carolina are the American dog, brown dog, lone star, and black-legged ticks.

a flea jumping on human skin in north carolina

  • Cat fleas. Adult cat fleas are only the size of a fleck of dirt. Their hard bodies are dark reddish-brown in color and they are wingless. The flea’s body is flattened from side to side so they can easily move through the hair of their host. Their large and powerful hind legs give them the ability to leap vertically 7 inches and horizontally 13 inches.

  • American dog ticks are brownish in color with white or yellow markings. Females have marbled markings on the upper surface of the front part of their bodies. Males have marbled markings going across the entire upper surface of their bodies.

  • Brown dog ticks have a descriptive name. They are brown in color and their favorite host is the dog. They have an oval, flattened shape. After feeding, their bodies swell and they turn gray-blue in color.

  • Lone star ticks. Female lone star ticks have a distinctive, single, silvery-white spot on their backs. Males have multiple smaller white spots on their backs. This species frequently feeds on people.

  • Black-legged ticks are a small species of tick that are brownish-orange in color with darker blackish-colored legs. These ticks are also often referred to as "deer" ticks because one of their favorite hosts in the white-tailed deer.

Are fleas and ticks dangerous?

Both fleas and ticks are dangerous pests. They spread a wide range of diseases and parasites to both people and animals. Fleas are responsible for transmitting diseases and parasitic tapeworms. Their saliva can create an allergic reaction in some people and pets. Their bites are itchy and can cause severe itchy dermatitis. If a pet has a severe infestation, the flea’s constant feeding can cause anemia. Ticks are responsible for spreading a wide range of diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.

Why do I have a flea and tick problem?

Fleas and ticks are both introduced onto properties by wild animals that are passing through. These parasites feed on the blood of a wide variety of wild animals, including deer, rabbits, squirrels, mice, and raccoons. Once fleas are on your property it is only a matter of time before you, your kids, or pets come into contact with them.

Where will I find fleas and ticks?

Ticks are most commonly found living outside in areas of tall grasses, dense vegetation, in ditches, along ponds, or along the edges of woods. They hide out in these places waiting for a suitable host to happen by. Ticks can be introduced into a home on a person or pet, but most species won’t be able to live successfully inside. Brown dog ticks are the exception to this rule. They can complete their entire lifecycle inside and can thrive in indoor environments.
 
Fleas live outside in shady, moist areas, including underneath shrubs, bushes, and deck areas. Fleas find their way into homes on pets or people’s clothing after they have spent time outside where fleas are present. Fleas can also find their way inside after purchasing used furniture or rugs that have fleas or their eggs on them. Unlike ticks, fleas live successfully inside. They are prolific breeders and an infestation of just a few fleas can quickly turn into a large scale infestation that overtakes your home.

How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?

Partner with qualified pest control experts to eliminate and control fleas and ticks. At ProForce Pest Control, our knowledgeable and dedicated service professionals provide effective and guaranteed residential and commercial pest control services. We are committed to exceeding customer expectations and using innovative solutions to eliminate fleas and ticks and other household pests from Charlotte and the surrounding area's properties. To learn more about our flea and tick control services, contact ProForce.

How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?

Doing the following in your home and around your property can help to prevent problems with fleas and ticks in the future:

  • Remove bird feeders from your property that could attract wild animals to it.

  • Place a stone barrier between wooded areas and grass.

  • Trim wooded areas away from your property line.

  • Maintain your front and back lawns.

  • Vacuum your home regularly.

  • Trim overgrown shrubs or bushes.

  • Frequently wash pet bedding and toys.

  • Place pets on a year-round flea and tick control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.

  • Inspect yourself, your children, and your pets for fleas and ticks before coming inside after being outdoors.

 

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