Ticks and fleas are not just a problem for the dogs. Although we often think of these pests primarily in the context of our furry friends, in reality, they can be just as dangerous for humans. Learn to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from ticks and fleas in the San Francisco Bay Area this August.
Flea Or Tick: What’s The Difference?
First off, what are ticks and fleas? How are they similar? How are they different?
Both ticks and fleas feed on blood from mammals, such as dogs, cats, and humans. They often travel on animals or people and can be found outdoors in areas with thick grass or foliage. Fleas grow to be less than 1/6 of an inch long. They are flat, round pests that are usually red or brown. They are flightless, but they can jump incredible distances.
Ticks can range in size from 1/8 to 5/8 of an inch. They also have flat bodies but are more round than ticks and can range in color from brown to grey to black. There are several species of tick in the United States. Some of the most common are dog ticks, lone star ticks, and deer ticks.
The Many Dangers Of Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are considered dangerous for several reasons. Fleas can be a major nuisance. They can appear in large numbers and cause itching and small red bumps. If you have pets, fleas will bite them.
Ticks don’t usually appear in groups, but a single tick bite is still problematic. Ticks are transmitters of several dangerous diseases. Among others, ticks have been linked to the spread of Lyme disease, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Fleas also carry disease. In fact, they are linked to the spread of the bubonic plague. Though rare in the modern world, the bubonic plague is not a risk you want to take!
How To Deter Ticks & Fleas
Here are some preventative measures you can take to stop the spread of fleas and ticks
- Deter wildlife. Fleas and ticks often come near your home by riding in on the fur of wildlife such as deer, raccoons, squirrels, or mice. By keeping wildlife away from your property with the use of fences, minimizing attracting factors, and proper yard cleaning, you’ll minimize the number of fleas and ticks in your yard.
- Protect your pets. If you have pets, keep them safe from fleas and ticks by collaborating with your vet to find flea prevention that works for you. Some options include flea collars, drops, and pills. Along with flea and tick prevention, you want to bathe your pets regularly and inspect them for pests after they’ve spent time outdoors.
- Groom your yard. The next step in tick and flea prevention is to keep your yard clean. This will limit the number of hiding places where fleas and ticks can wait for their next victim. Keep the grass short, the foliage well-trimmed, and the yard clear of debris such as leaves and sticks.
- Travel smart. When you go out, especially if you’ll be in an area with plenty of nature and wildlife, you should use insect repellent, wear long pants, and wear light-colored clothes. With lighter clothes, you’ll be able to spot a tick before it bites you. After returning from time outside, inspect yourself and your family for ticks.
- Finally, invest in professional help. If you really want to keep your yard free of fleas and ticks, Smith’s Pest Management can help. We don’t just eliminate fleas and ticks in your home, we help you make environmental changes to prevent the arrival of new fleas and ticks.
Your yard is an important part of your home, especially during the summer. With help from Smith’s Pest Management, you don’t need to worry about running into ticks or fleas in your yard. Give us a call to find out how we can help get rid of ticks on your property today!