Fleas & Ticks

What are fleas and ticks?

 
Fleas and ticks are both parasitic, meaning they feed on the blood of a host. Both of these species are known to feed on the blood of humans and animals.

dark brown trick crawling on the skin of a central virginia resident

The most common species of flea we have is the cat flea. These tiny pests have hard, flat bodies that are shiny and dark brownish-red in color. Fleas are wingless, but have large hind legs that allow them to jump to great heights. Their mouths, legs, and backs are covered in spines to help them attach themselves to their hosts and maintain a good grip.

The most common species of ticks found in our area are black-legged ticks, dog ticks, and lone star ticks. Each of these ticks have their own unique appearance:

  • Black-legged ticks or deer ticks are small in size, with bodies that are dark reddish-orange in color; as their name suggests, their legs are dark, almost black in color.

  • Lone star ticks are larger than black-legged ticks are often identified by a bright, white spot located on their backs.

  • Larger than both black-legged and lone star ticks, dog ticks are brownish in color with white or yellowish colored markings on them.

Are fleas and ticks dangerous?

Both fleas and ticks are considered to be dangerous due to the diseases and parasites they are capable of spreading to both people and animals.

Fleas are responsible for transmitting diseases and parasitic tapeworm. Their saliva can create an allergic reaction in some people and pets that can cause a severe, itchy dermatitis - leading to a secondary infection that requires medical attention. If a pet has a severe infestation the fleas' constant feeding can cause anemia.

Ticks are responsible for spreading a wide range of diseases, depending on their exact species:

  • Black-legged deer ticks are most well-known for spreading Lyme disease, but they can spread other harmful diseases as well.

  • Dog ticks are known to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and can also spread a variety of illnesses to dogs.

  • Lone star ticks can spread tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis.

Why do I have a flea and tick problem?

Fleas and ticks are most commonly introduced onto properties by wildlife that is passing through; both fleas and ticks feed on the blood of wild animals including, but not limited to, deer, rabbits, squirrels, mice and rats, and raccoons. Ticks will also attach to small birds, allowing them to become extremely mobile.

Once on your property, it is only a matter of time before you, your family members, or pets come into contact with those ticks or fleas or they are introduced into your home.

Where are fleas and ticks commonly found?

Ticks are most commonly found living outside in areas of tall grasses, dense vegetation, in ditches, along ponds, or along the edges of woods waiting for an appropriate host to happen by that they can attach themselves to. Ticks can be introduced into a home on a person or pet, but most species won’t be able to live successfully inside.

Fleas are also found living outdoors in moist, shaded areas. Most often, fleas find their way into homes on pets or on our clothing after spending time outside where fleas are present. Fleas also find their way inside on used furniture or rugs that have fleas or their eggs on them. Unlike ticks, fleas can live successfully inside and have the potential to grow their populations into large-scale infestations inside our homes if left untreated.

How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?

The best way to reduce the number of fleas and ticks found living on your property is to partner with a professional pest control provider. When you partner with us at Triple S Services, we will identify the fleas or ticks you're dealing with, find the source of your problem, and eliminate your infestation with our quality pest control programs.

To learn more about implementing our flea and tick control services in your Central or Northern Virginia home, reach out to us at Triple S Services!

How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?

In combination with professional pest control services from Triple S Services, there are a few steps you can take to make your property less appealing to fleas and ticks:

  • Trim wooded areas away from your property line.

  • Place a stone barrier between wooded areas and your property’s lawn.

  • Maintain your lawn by mowing it regularly.

  • Trim any overgrown shrubs or bushes found on your property.

  • Remove bird feeders from your property.

  • Inspect yourself, children, and pets for ticks and fleas before going inside after spending time outdoors.

  • Place any pets on a year-round flea and tick control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.

 

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