Fleas are an external parasite of mammals and birds. they live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Flat bodies and strong claws allow them to attach to the bodies of their host. Long legs are adept for jumping. Fleas can jump vertically up to 7 in and horizontally up to 13 in. Fleas will use their jumping ability to infest dogs and cats and bite the animal to feed on their blood. A flea may bite humans, but will not breed on them. Flea bites can cause an irritating itching sensation and inflammation from scratching like a mosquito bite. Fleas carry many of the same rickisettial diseases as ticks including typhus, rickettsialpox, Boutonneuse fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tapeworms.
Ticks are a small arachnid parasite, a relative of mites. Parasites live by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. There are two kind of ticks, hard ticks which are difficult to crush or soft ticks. Adults have pair shaped bodies that become engorged with blood when they feed. Ticks require a blood meal for each of the seven stages of their life cycle they are born with six legs an acquire two more for a total of eight after they've had a blood meal. Because they feed on blood, ticks are carriers of at least twelve diseases that affect humans and other animals including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or allergic reactions to red meat.
Control Fleas & Ticks
The Center for Disease Control(CDC) [PDF] recommends the following landscaping techniques to help reduce tick populations:
- Remove leaf litter
- Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns
- Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas
- Mow the lawn frequently
- Stack wood neatly and in dry area (discourages rodents)
- Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees
- Discourage unwelcome animals (Such as deer, raccons, and stray dogs) from entering your yard by constructing fences.
- Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide
Sign Up For Your Flea and Tick Control Program Today!
Our 5-step flea and tick control program will greatly reduce fleas and ticks in the area around your home. Ask a customer service representative about our Special Event Application that provides a flea and tick-free zone, ensuring the comfort of you and your guests during weddings, gatherings, and outdoor events. Call us at 507-388-9100 or login to your account online to get a free instant quote on your flea and tick control program today!