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Use our helpful guide for fleas and ticks to help identify them and how to rid them from your house or yard.
Fleas and ticks are parasitic pests that feed on the blood of both people and animals by latching on and biting into their skin. Both are small in size, but their bodies expand like a balloon after feeding causing them to grow in size. The most common species of fleas and ticks in Oklahoma are cat fleas, dog ticks and deer ticks.
Fleas are about the size of a fleck of dirt. They have hard, flat bodies that are shiny and dark brownish-red in color. Fleas are do not have wings, but they have powerful back legs that allow them to jump to great heights on a whim. Fleas have specialized spines on their mouth, legs and backs to prevent them from falling off of their host.
Dog ticks are reddish-brown in color and have no distinct markings. After feeding they turn steel blue-gray in color.
Deer ticks are very small in size, their bodies are dark reddish-orange in color and their legs are black in color.
“Seed Ticks” are not a specific species of tick, but this term describes a specific stage within a tick’s life cycle. “Seed ticks” is how we commonly refer to ticks’ larval stage (right after the tick hatches from the egg). They resemble a poppy seed with 6 legs and are rarely noticeable unless found in large groups.
Both fleas and ticks can be dangerous pests due in part to the disease and parasites they can spread to both people and animals. Flea saliva may also set off an allergic reaction that causes a severe, itchy dermatitis to develop. This itchy dermatitis can lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention. If any pets have a severe infestation they can develop anemia. Fleas are also responsible for infecting people and animals with parasitic tapeworm.
Ticks are responsible for spreading a wide range of diseases. Deer ticks often spread Lyme disease, which can cause serious health consequences. Dog ticks are known for spreading Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Other diseases that ticks may spread include tularemia and ehrilichiosis.
Fleas and ticks are brought onto properties by wild animals. Including raccoons, squirrels, deer, skunks, rabbits, foxes and more, these animals become hosts for both fleas and ticks. Once on your property, the fleas or ticks will remain there until a new host (potentially you, your kids or pets) comes through the area they are located and they attach themselves and find an area on your body to set up shop and “dig in”.
Fleas and ticks are frequently brought into homes on the clothing of people or in the fur of pets. If you own pets and they visit their veterinarian, a kennel or dog park, they could come into contact with fleas or ticks and bring them back to your home. Fleas also find their way inside homes on-board used furniture or rugs that are infested with adult fleas or their eggs.
Ticks live outside in areas of tall grass, dense vegetation, in ditches, along bodies of water, fence lines or at the edges of woods. They hang out and wait for an unsuspecting host to come near them and they latch on. Ticks can be introduced into a home via a person or pet, but most species won’t be able to live successfully indoors without attaching to a host. After hatching, seed ticks will immediately seek a host and remain attached to them while feeding for several days. Seed ticks typically attach themselves to lower parts of the body and sometimes in large numbers which makes it easier to find and remove them. Fleas live outside in shady, sandy, moist areas. Fleas can thrive indoors and may be found in large numbers in areas where pets sleep and spend the majority of their time. They may also be found in the cracks of floors, behind baseboards and in upholstered furniture.
If heading into the wilderness or even tall grass, be sure to bring an insect repellent that repels ticks in addition to mosquitoes and others. For your pets, make sure to apply scheduled treatments either at home or by your veterinarian so if a tick or flea latches on, the pest will die upon biting into their skin.
If you have fleas or ticks in your home, the best method for controlling existing populations and prevent future infestations is with the help of a qualified professional. At Mid America Pest Control, our dependable technicians provide year-round services to rid your home and property of fleas and ticks. We are committed to using innovative and eco-friendly solutions to remove household-invading pests while preventing their return. To learn more about eliminating fleas and ticks from your home or business throughout Greater Tulsa, reach out today to schedule your free 58-Point pest inspection.
Hiring a professional team will be the best method of defense, but there are a few steps you can take to keep them away from your home:
If you have a pest problem, allow our team to solve it!