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Fleas & Ticks

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Fleas are a common parasite found in Southeastern Michigan most commonly known for their effects on pets.

What do fleas look like?
Fleas are small, shiny, reddish-brown parasites that are about 2.5 mm long. These parasites are wingless and covered in microscopic hair, which enables them to move easily through animal fur. Although they can not fly, they are able to jump long distances.

How do fleas get into your home?
Fleas depend on a blood meal from a host to survive, and are typically brought into the home by pets or other uninvited mammal hosts, such as mice. They prefer to feed on hairy animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, squirrels, mice, and rats. Occasionally, when their host is no longer available to feed on, fleas focus on feeding on other animals in the house. An example of this is when a flea comes into the home on a mouse and the mouse is removed. The flea may try to target your dog or a human in the house. Flea eggs are another concern. Flea eggs are deposited into your pet’s fur and fall off as the animal moved. These eggs can be found behind, under, and inside of furniture, inside cracks or grooves on the floors, in the pet’s bedding, and in carpets. The cocoon of the eggs can protect the flea larvae for months, so if you suspect that you have a flea outbreak, it is imperative that the situation is handled immediately.

How do you know you have a flea problem?
Adult fleas are easy to identify by sight alone. Another sign of a flea infestation is a pet that is constantly scratching and grooming itself. Humans can also get bitten by these parasites. One more indication is the presence of flea dirt, or the feces of adult fleas. It looks similar to ground black pepper and can be found in carpets, rugs, pet beds, and anywhere else your pet commonly rests.

How do I get rid of fleas in my home?
Preventative measures include sealing gaps, cracks, and holes in order to keep out rodents or other potential hosts from entering your home. Washing bedding and keeping your home clean and clutter-free is also helpful. Additionally, if you suspect you might have a flea outbreak, be sure to wash and groom your pets and take them to the veterinarian as a precaution. There are a variety of over the counter products that promise to help remove fleas, but they are rarely effective and do not get to the root of the flea problem. It is best to call a pest control professional, as every case is different and varying or multiple solutions may need to be employed for each different case. The source of the fleas could be anything from an unknown rodent in your attic to a feral cat that was living in a crawl space, so it is imperative to figure out the root cause of the flea problem in order to form the most effective plan of action.

Presidio Pest Management, with our combination of the latest equipment and pesticides, knowledge, and experience, is sure to exterminate even the toughest flea infestation. Call us today or schedule your free inspection!

What do ticks look like?
Ticks are small, blood-feeding insects commonly found in the more wooded areas of Southeastern Michigan. A tick tends to be smaller than a sunflower seed in size (about 1 cm long when fed with blood) and vary in color by species. They are characterized by having only six legs in their larvae stage and eight legs during their adult and nymphal stages. There are many varieties of ticks, such as the deer/black-legged tick, the American dog tick, and the lone star tick. Each species has a preferred host, but generally, they feed on the blood of livestock, humans, cats, dogs, deer, birds, and reptiles.

Where are ticks found?
Ticks are typically found near wooded areas, as well as highly vegetated areas. Some species prefer these areas to be moist.

How do ticks get into your home?
A tick can find its way into your home by hitchhiking on its host, whether it is on a dog or a cat’s fur or a human’s clothing. They can also be a problem if a tick host is living in the crawl space or attic, as these hosts can bring the parasite into their living space. Luckily, most tick species do not survive well in a home unless they are able to find another host. However, the exceptions to this are the brown dog tick and the soft tick, both of which are able to survive and reproduce well inside the home.

Are ticks harmful?
Ticks are known to spread pathogens into the blood of the animals they infest. They require cautious removal when found on pets or humans, as crushing the tick can release more dangerous fluids. Be sure to completely remove the mouth parts from the wound. Also, make sure to wash and disinfect the affected area to avoid further infection.

How do I get rid of ticks inside of my home?
The most clear sign of a tick infestation is the ticks themselves, which may be found after the discovery of the presence of disease or other fluids transmitted by the tick to their host organism. Although most species of tick do not thrive in the home, it is important to take preventative measures against these parasites. Be sure to repair all crevices and gaps between the inside and outside of the home, and also keep the grass cut short. Additionally, be sure to remove all rodent and bird nesting materials from the vicinity of the house, as these attract the parasite. It is also important to note that getting rid of ticks and getting rid of fleas are not the same process.

Due to the threat of diseases such as Lyme disease and other tick fevers, it is imperative that you call Presidio Pest Management today to get rid of your tick problem, or request a free inspection. Additionally, if you suspect that a pet has been infected by a tick, be sure to visit your local veterinarian and have your animal tested.

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