How to Handle Fleas & Ticks in Texas
What are fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are external parasitic pests that feed on the blood of both people and animals. Both species can invade properties, where they become a nuisance, a danger, and are difficult to eliminate. The cat flea is the most common species of flea found in our area of Southeast Texas. The American dog tick and black-legged deer tick are the two most common species of ticks.
Cat fleas are tiny in size - about the size of a fleck of dirt. They have hard, flat bodies that are shiny and dark brownish-red in color. Fleas are wingless, but they have powerful back legs. Fleas also have specialized spines on their mouth, legs, and back to prevent them from falling off their host.
American Dog Ticks
American dog ticks are brownish in color, with white, yellowish, or gray markings on them.
Black-Legged Deer Ticks
Adult black-legged deer ticks have broad, oval-shaped bodies and are orangish-brown in color. Their legs are a much darker color when compared to the rest of their bodies.
Are fleas and ticks dangerous?
Both fleas and ticks are considered dangerous. They can create health risks, and transmit diseases and parasites to both people and animals.
Most people are allergic to flea saliva and develop itchy dermatitis after being bitten. The constant itching can sometimes lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention. If pets have a severe flea infestation they can become anemic. Fleas can also be responsible for infecting people and animals with parasitic tapeworm.
American dog ticks have the potential to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and tick paralysis. The black-legged deer tick is known as the main transmitter of Lyme disease.
Why do I have a flea and tick problem?
Fleas and ticks are introduced to properties by wild animals. Once on your property, they remain until a new host passes by that they can attach themselves to and feed. Unfortunately, the new host could be you, your kids, or your pets.
Raccoons, squirrels, deer, skunks, rabbits, and foxes commonly bring fleas and ticks onto properties. Fleas are frequently introduced into homes on the clothing of people or in the fur of pets. They can also be brought inside on used furniture or rugs that are infested with their eggs or larvae.
Ticks typically don’t survive indoors, and they don’t usually become a huge problem inside homes. However, they can successfully live and breed on residential properties and may become a nuisance and a danger for families and pets.
Where will I find fleas and ticks?
Ticks live outside in tall grasses, dense vegetation, in ditches, along with ponds and fence lines, or on the edges of woods. Ticks attach themselves to a host as the host passes by the area that ticks are in.
Fleas live outside in shady, moist areas, and sandy spots, finding their way into homes after jumping onto people or pets. Inside, fleas and their eggs can be found in cracks of floors, upholstered furniture, in rugs, behind baseboards, and pet's sleeping areas.
How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
To find, eliminate, and accurately identify the fleas and ticks that are living and nesting on your property or in your home, contact a professional pest control expert. At Bill Clark Pest Control, our highly trained 'Bugsperts' receive continuous education, and are up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends. To eliminate fleas and ticks, our professionals can provide thorough inspections and treatment through our residential pest control programs. For exceptional flea and tick control in Southeast Texas, reach out to Bill Clark Pest Control.
How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?
To help stop fleas and ticks from choosing your property to nest and breed on, our 'Bugsperts' offer the following prevention tips:
- Place a stone barrier between wooded areas and your lawn.
- Keep your lawn cut short.
- Cut tall grasses away from your home’s foundation.
- Trim overgrown shrubs or bushes found on your property.
- Remove bird feeders from your property that may attract wild animals.
- Regularly vacuum areas where your pets spend most of their time.
- Frequently wash pet bedding.
- Under the guidance of a veterinarian, place your pets on a year-round flea and tick control program.
- Don’t purchase used furniture or rugs for use within your home.