If you’re the owner of a furry pet like a cat or especially a dog, you may be dreading the start of a season we’re just approaching: Flea and tick season. Both these parasites tend to become more active when the weather warms up and moves toward spring and summer, and these sorts of household pests are often top targets for them.
At A-1 Exterminators, we’re here to provide extermination and pest control services for a wide range of issues, from general insects like these to rodents, birds and many others you may experience in Salt Lake City, Sandy, West Jordan, West Valley City or nearby areas. Here are some basics on what fleas and ticks are, why they’re dangerous to both pets and humans, and how you can avoid any such issues during this spring and summer season.
What Are Fleas and Ticks?
For those who may not know, fleas and ticks are both small insects or arthropods who feed off the blood of animals. They can be as small as a pinhead, and tend to go for areas like fur, ears or other soft parts of their hosts where skin is thin.
Fleas are flat, wingless creatures with a reddish-brown coloration and six legs. Ticks are a bit larger, with eight legs and a compact, oval shape.
Where They Live Normally
As they wait to find hosts they can latch onto and feed off, fleas and ticks usually nestle in places like tall grass or wooded areas. That’s why it’s important to keep your lawn trimmed and away from such areas if possible.
This is also where many pets tend to come into contact with fleas and ticks, usually when they’re roaming around and exploring the outdoors.
How They Multiply
One of the toughest things about fleas and ticks is just how quickly they can reproduce and spread. This happens mostly through their eggs, which hatch into larvae after about a week or so.
Both species are able to lay many eggs, up to 50 in the case of fleas and up to 3,000 for ticks. This means that even if you catch a few on your pet, chances are they’ve already spread a lot more eggs around in the area.
The Threat They Pose
Fleas and ticks can cause serious illnesses to both humans and animals alike. In pets themselves, these may include skin irritation and infection, anemia from blood loss, or even in rare cases paralysis.
And while fleas and ticks don’t primarily target humans as their initial hosts, they will often latch onto them once in their homes. They can cause several issues here, including:
- Lyme disease: Transmitted by ticks, this bacterial infection can cause intense pains and discomfort if left untreated.
- Allergies: Bites from fleas or ticks may trigger allergic reactions in some people, leading to skin irritation and inflammation.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever: This bacterium may also be transmitted by tick bites, and can cause serious illnesses in severe cases.
Flea and Tick Season
Flea and tick season will vary depending on where you live, but tends to revolve around warmer weather patterns. Most fleas and ticks enter dispause during the winter periods, meaning they won’t reproduce or be active in the area.
But once spring and summer start to arrive, these parasites become more active and begin to spread their eggs more often. This is why it’s important to prepare your home from possible infestations around this time of year.
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
There are a few important elements that go into preventing fleas and ticks from becoming a problem for your pets, your home or your own person. These include:
- Proactive prevention: This can be done by using special flea and tick shampoos or collars on your pets. There are also treatments like spot-on formulas that you can apply to them for extra protection.
- Cleaning: Keep your house and outdoor areas clean, making sure to vacuum frequently in the spring and summer months. This helps remove any eggs that may have been laid in these areas.
- Inspection: When your pet returns from outside, it’s important to check them for any signs of fleas or ticks. If you find any, remove them immediately with tweezers and consult a veterinarian if the situation persists.
By following these steps, you can make sure that your pets are never at-risk here. And if you have an existing problem, experts like ours are always here to help.
For more here, or to learn about any of our pest control or exterminator services for clients in SLC, Sandy, West Valley City or West Jordan, speak to our team at A-1 Exterminators today.