Flea & Tick Identification & Prevention

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What are fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks are outdoor pests that regularly find their way into our Charlotte yards and sometimes into our homes. Their sole source of nutrition comes from the blood of people and animals. A significant difference between fleas and ticks is that fleas are wingless insects, and ticks are arachnids. The preferred hosts for fleas are animals. Ticks regularly feed on the blood of both people and animals.

Fleas are reddish-brown, have oval bodies flattened from side to side, and have large, powerful back legs they use for jumping. They are very tiny, and if not moving, they can easily be mistaken for a piece of dirt.

Ticks have oval bodies that expand as they feed and fill up with blood. Ticks that have recently fed are much easier to spot than ticks that have not recently eaten. Like all arachnids, ticks lack wings and antennae. Ticks range in color and can be yellow, red, black, or brown. 

a flea on a persons arm

Are fleas and ticks dangerous?

Fleas and ticks are dangerous because of the numerous health risks they pose. Below is a quick overview of why reducing their populations near people is essential.

  • Pets with heavy flea infestations can become anemic because of blood loss. 
  • Fleas are intermediate hosts for tapeworms. They spread tapeworms to people and animals.
  • Though not a massive concern in the United States, fleas can spread diseases like plague and murine typhus. 
  • Fleas bites are itchy; excessive scratching at bite sites can lead to secondary infections. 
  • Ticks spread many diseases throughout the U.S., including Lyme, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

For help reducing flea and tick numbers on your property, don't hesitate to call ProForce Pest Control.

Why do I have a flea and tick problem?

There are a few ways that fleas and ticks end up on North Carolina properties.

Ticks and fleas live in outdoor areas where people and pets regularly spend time, like parks, wooded trails, athletic fields, and campgrounds. If you or your pet comes into contact with fleas or ticks anywhere outdoors, you can bring them back to your yard or home.

The other common way a tick or flea infestation happens is with the help of rodents and wild animals. Fleas and ticks commonly infest rodents and other wildlife, and as these animals travel to and from our yards or seek refuge inside our homes, they can introduce fleas and ticks to our properties.

Fleas can create large indoor populations, while a tick infestation in a home is rare. Fleas can move from structure to structure in bedding, clothing, rugs, and upholstered furniture.

Where will I find fleas and ticks?

When not on an animal host, fleas gather in damp shady areas like the soil under mulch, fallen leaves, woodpiles, and decks. After female fleas lay their eggs on their animal host, the eggs roll to the ground, where they develop into new adults. The new adults hang out in the shade until a host comes by they can jump onto.

When fleas get into our homes, before they find a host to consume a blood meal from, they hide in the cracks of floors, behind baseboards, under furniture, and within bedding.

Ticks also prefer to hang out in shady areas. These pests thrive in wooded areas or outdoor spaces with lots of vegetation. In order to find a host, ticks will crawl to the top of grass or other vegetation and wait for a host to brush past them they can crawl onto. In yards, ticks hang out in the tall grass next to walkways or fencelines, road ditches, and under piles of leaves or other debris. 

How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?

The best to get rid of fleas and ticks on your property is to partner with a local and experienced professional. Here at ProForce Pest Control, we have a deep commitment to our customers and provide customized services to resolve pest problems completely. We always stay current on the latest pest control advances and will work with you to develop a plan to solve your property's flea or tick problem. For more information about fleas or ticks and the quality pest control services in Charlotte that we offer to control them, please reach out.

How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?

You can do many things around your yard to make it less conducive to flea and tick activity and reduce your contact with these pests.

  • If you own pets, make sure they are on a year-round flea and tick preventative.
  • Inspect yourself and your pets for fleas and ticks after spending time outside.
  • Regularly vacuum floors and upholstered furniture to remove stray fleas and ticks.
  • Keep your yard well maintained; cut the grass regularly, remove piles of leave and other debris, and maintain landscaping. 
  • Deter rodent and wildlife activity by removing bird feeders, keeping lids on trash cans, and sealing defects in your home's exterior.

Call today to eliminate fleas and ticks from your property and keep them away for good!

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