It might be autumn but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down about fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks are most active during the warm months but they can still pose a threat well into winter. Flea and tick season in Virginia, for example, extend well into December. Pet owners should take extra precautions because they can bring these bloodthirsty pests into your home. Ticks are especially dangerous because they can transmit diseases such as Lyme diseases, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas are tiny wingless insects that are about ⅙ of an inch long and have reddish-brown bodies. Fleas love to lie in shady parts of your lawn in the summer. Places like under trees, in tall grass, and under decks and porches are prime places for fleas to lie in wait for your pets to come and take a rest. Fleas enter your home by riding on the backs of your cats and dogs. Inside they can hop off and multiply. Fleas can live up to a year and produce millions of eggs in the meantime. Fleas do not usually prefer the taste of human blood but they can cause allergies, tapeworms, and cause Murine Typhus.
How To Prevent and Treat For Fleas
Flea control depends on you being vigilant and proactive.
- Comb your pet with a flea comb and deposit eggs and fleas into a cup of hot soapy water.
- Keep leaf litter, grass clippings, and other organic debris away from your home.
- Fence off the undersides of decks and porches.
- Keep pets out of brush or unmowed areas.
How To Identify Ticks
Unlike the flea, ticks do prefer the taste of human blood. Ticks are small round insects that can be brown, reddish-brown, yellow, or black. They can be found hiding in the tall grass waiting for small mammals to pass by. Ticks can spread a number of deadly diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The most common types of ticks found in Virginia are the blacklegged tick, the lone star tick, and the American dog tick.
How to Tell If You or Your Pet Has Ticks
Most ticks the size of a pinhead before they bite and get larger after they latch on and start to engorge themselves on blood. Usually, you won’t feel a thing when a tick has bitten you. If your pet likes to spend a lot of time outside check them when they come back inside. Just run your hand over and check around the ears, eyes, head, and feet.
Tick Treatment and Removal
Avoiding high-risk areas such as tall grasses and overgrown areas is the best way to prevent you and your pets from getting ticks. When pets do come in with ticks you should remove it quickly but carefully.
To remove a tick you will need a pair of rubber or latex gloves and a pair of tweezers. Carefully grab a hold of the tick with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight up and the tick should come free. Disinfect the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water.
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
Once fleas and ticks invade your home it is very difficult to get rid of them. The best thing you can do is prevent them and actively be aware of. Here are some steps to help you prevent fleas and ticks.
Garlic, apple cider vinegar, lavender, lemongrass, and geranium repel ticks, while lavender, lemongrass, citronella, and peppermint turn away fleas.
Bathe Your Pets Regularly
Washing your pets regularly with a flea and tick shampoo will make sure you get any of these pests before they become a big problem.
Fleas and ticks can jump off their hosts and live in your carpets and furniture where they can continue to multiply. Vacuuming your home regularly, including furniture will ensure that fleas and ticks can’t establish a foothold in your home.
Keep your lawn mowed and short. Trim bushes and tree branches away from your house. Store firewood and other organic matter at least 20 feet away from your home.
Get Professional Flea and Tick Treatment From NuLeaf
At NuLeaf we have years of experience dealing with fleas and ticks. Our three-step flea and tick application is designed specifically for your yard and will ensure you and your pets are not bothered by these pests.