Fleas and ticks may look a little too similar, but when they’re on your property, you’ll want to know the difference between these pests. While fleas are wingless and use their powerful legs to jump on a host, ticks are a type of arachnid with six to eight legs.
The most important difference between these critters is in the damage they cause. Adult fleas look for one host, usually your pet or wild animal, that they can feed off of until they die.
Ticks, however, are less picky about their hosts and tend to move from host to host – whether that’s rodents, wild animals, pets, or even humans.
Neither ticks nor fleas are a great sign for your property – here’s what you need to know about the problems they cause, what you can do to deter them on your property, and the most effective way to get rid of them if they are already there.
What Kind Of Problems Do Ticks And Fleas Cause?
While they may look small, fleas and ticks are far from harmless. Some of the infections and diseases carried by fleas include:
- Tapeworms: This is an internal parasite that can begin to affect your pets if they’re bitten by a flea that has tapeworms.
- Murine Typhus: While not common in Washington, fleas that come in contact with infected rats can carry murine typhus, which affects humans and causes fever, nausea, and vomiting.
- Tularemia: Tularemia requires medical treatment, and symptoms include joint pain, weakness, chills, and fever.
Ticks, however, come with their own host of diseases and problems, such as:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF): RMSF can cause joint and muscle pain, high fever, and chills, and can cause permanent damage if left untreated.
- Lyme disease: Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases. It can cause severe fever, lack of appetite, and difficulty breathing in both pets and humans.
- Anaplasmosis: Pets are at risk for anaplasmosis, a bacterial tick-borne disease that results in vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and joint pain.
Whether you’re dealing with a flea or a tick problem – or both – these pests can come with serious diseases for both you, your family, and your pets.
How To Reduce Tick And Fleas Populations On Your Property
The occasional tick or flea may be normal, but if you’re regularly dealing with ticks or fleas, it’s time to consider what’s attracting them to your property. Some of the ways you can repel these pests include:
- Regularly mow your lawn and keep bushes and shrubs trimmed as overgrown areas provide shelter for ticks and fleas.
- Keep trees, bushes, and other vegetation a safe distance from your home.
- Deter potential wildlife hosts (like raccoons, mice, or other rodents) by keeping trash bins closed and sealing off potential entry points to your home.
- Regularly clean and vacuum your house as fleas may leave their eggs on your floor or carpet.
- Use a year-round flea and tick treatment on your pets.
The Best Form Of Flea And Tick Control
While the tips above can help reduce flea and tick populations, the most effective way to handle flea and tick infestations is with professionals – like those of us at Alta Pest Control. Contact us today to learn more about flea and tick treatments for your home.