Flea & Tick Identification
Flea & Tick Identification
Fleas & Ticks
What are fleas & ticks?
Fleas and ticks are common parasites that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They are ectoparasites which means they use specialized mouthparts to cut through the skin of their host to feed on their blood from outside the host’s body.
Fleas are insects no bigger than a speck of dirt. Despite their small size, these pests are difficult to eliminate because of the hard shell covering their bodies and their strong back legs that enable them to jump out of the way of danger quickly. Fleas have a short life span of just a few months and spend most of it on the back of an animal host like a dog, cat, small rodent, or other wild animal.
Unlike fleas, ticks are not insects; they are actually arachnids. Like other arachnids, adults have eight legs and lack wings or antennae. Ticks will feed on different hosts throughout their life and require a new host for each new life cycle — larvae, nymph, and adult. A tick’s entire life cycle can take up to three years, depending on environmental conditions.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
Both fleas and ticks can transmit diseases through their saliva, but ticks are the biggest threat. Ticks living in Arizona spread a variety of diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and tularemia.
Fleas also can spread diseases to people but are more well-known for the allergic reactions they cause. Many people and animals are allergic to their saliva and, after being bitten, will develop a red itchy rash. Excessive scratching at the bite sites can lead to secondary infections in both people and animals.
Fleas and ticks are biting pests that should never be allowed to call our Tucson yards home. Their presence makes it difficult for us to enjoy our outdoor spaces without the fear of ourselves, kids, or pets becoming their next food source.
Why do I have a flea & tick problem?
Fleas and ticks are active year-round in Arizona, our warm weather allowing them to breed throughout the year. Though fleas and ticks are commonly associated with pet owners, these pests can become a problem on any of our properties. Wild animals are common hosts for fleas and ticks and are often heavily infested with them. As they travel, fleas and ticks will drop off their current host and infest new areas, including our Tucson yards, and sometimes our homes.
Where will I find fleas & ticks?
You’ll find ticks in dense or tall vegetation. Because they can’t jump or fly, to find their way onto a host, they have to crawl to the top of a piece of vegetation and wait for a host to brush past them.
Some common places where we regularly run into ticks include fields, the edges of fences, along wooded trails, and under things like bushes, shrubs, and decks. Most tick species can’t complete their life cycle indoors, making them more problematic outside in our yards.
Fleas can become a problem both inside and outside the house. They can complete their life cycle indoors. Fleas can get into our homes on rodents, pets, or people or by hitchhiking on things like rugs and upholstered furniture.
Outside they are found in areas that provide the developing eggs with plenty of shade and moisture. Popular hangouts for fleas and where people and pets often come into contact with them include our yards, fields, parks, spaces under decks, leaves or grass piles, or mulch.
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
Living and breeding outside and constantly being transported onto properties by wild animals, the elimination of fleas and ticks requires professional help.
If you are experiencing problems with blood-feeding fleas or ticks on your property, turn to the professionals at Pest Friends. We will rid your home of fleas and ticks through our modern pest control solutions, eco-friendly approach, and innovative services. To learn more about our comprehensive tick control solutions in Tucson, AZ or to schedule a complimentary inspection of your property, reach out to Pest Friends today!
How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?
Fleas and ticks live outside all around us, and controlling their numbers is difficult. While the best solution is a professional solution, there are some things you can do around your property to make it less attractive to fleas and ticks.
The best way to avoid problems with fleas and ticks is to remove spots from your yard where they like to gather. Get rid of wood and brush piles from your property, trim back shrubs and bushes, and keep your grass mowed short. These steps can go a long way in helping to prevent problems with fleas and ticks.
Below are more of our most helpful prevention tips:
- If you own pets, speak with their veterinarian about placing them on a year-round flea and tick prevention plan.
- Remove areas of standing water from your yard will attract wild animal activity.
- Remove food sources that wild animals could take advantage of- like bird feeders and open trash cans.
- Put a fence around your yard to keep stray pets out.