If you have spent any extended amount of time outdoors, then you have heard about fleas and ticks. Every nature survival instructor, veterinarian, and scout leader warns about them, commercials on television advertise products to keep them off of you, teachers even teach children about them in schools. Despite this, many people are still misinformed about these little pests. If you know about fleas and ticks but don’t know about the many problems they cause, here are a few things you ought to know.
What Are Fleas & Ticks?
Fleas and ticks are parasitic insects that live off the blood of humans and animals. Ticks prefer to feed on humans, while fleas like a furry host to provide their blood meals. Out in nature, both of these pests live in secluded areas with dense undergrowth. Someone may have told you not to go into tall grass because that’s where ticks hide. They are correct.
One of the biggest differences between ticks and fleas is how they attach to a host. For fleas, getting onto a host is as easy as jumping. As long as a furry creature is within 16 cm, they have no problem hopping aboard. Ticks, on the other hand, are much less mobile and need to get creative to get onto a host. To do this, ticks will climb up onto tall grass or leaf and reach out with their front two legs. In this position, they will wait for a host to walk by to transfer over by grabbing at them and hanging on for dear life.
The Dangers Of Fleas & Ticks
Although different in their appearance, fleas and ticks both cause the same types of problems. For one, both fleas and ticks can carry and spread dangerous diseases. Fleas are best known for spreading murine typhus, bubonic plague, and tularemia. Ticks, on the other hand, most commonly transmit Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
If a tick bites you, do not dispose of their body after you safely remove them from your skin. Instead, store the tick inside a plastic bag in the freezer. This will preserve its body in case you show symptoms of Lyme disease so that the doctors can use it to find a treatment that will work.
Prevention Tips For Fleas And Ticks
Effectively preventing fleas and ticks is not easy, but it is possible. To start, here are some tips to keep fleas and ticks off your person:
- Wear lighter colored clothing.
- Avoid wandering into high grass or thick foliage.
- Wear long pants.
- Tuck your pant legs into your socks.
- Wear insect repellent.
Other ways to reduce your chances of being bitten by fleas and ticks is to put in place prevention practices around your property. Here are some practical ways to do this:
- Keep your grass cut short.
- Fence in your yard or at least your garden.
- Seal the exterior of your home.
- Eliminate moisture problems around your home.
- Clean thoroughly and regularly.
- Remove clutter and debris from your yard.
A Better Way To Prevent Fleas & Ticks
At the end of the day, preventing fleas and ticks on your own is a difficult task. To make things easier for you, consider the benefits of high-quality flea and tick control. At Smith’s Pest Management, we know how to get rid of these pests and using the most advanced methods, we will ensure your property is the last place fleas and ticks want to be. Call our team today for any questions you have about our services, or to schedule a visit for your Bay Area property.