What are fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are external pests that feed on the blood of both people and animals. In the Roanoke, Virginia area, the most common types of fleas and ticks include cat fleas, blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks), Lone Star ticks, and American dog ticks.
Fleas are tiny insects. They have a hard, flat body that is difficult to squish and helps to protect them from harm.
Fleas are wingless but have very large, powerful back legs that allow them to jump and travel through the fur of their hosts.
Ticks are not insects, but arachnids and are related to spiders. They have an oval-shaped body, eight legs, and are wingless.
Ticks use their specialized mouthparts to grab hold of the skin of their host and feed on their blood. Their spine covered bodies and legs help to prevent them from falling off their hosts.
Are fleas & ticks dangerous?
Both fleas and ticks are considered dangerous to human and pet health because they have the ability to spread serious disease. Fleas transmit parasitic tapeworms and blacklegged deer ticks have been linked to the spread of Lyme disease. Deer ticks and other ticks common in Virginia are known to spread other tick-borne diseases.
In those who may be allergic to flea and/or tick bites, there is the possibility that red itchy rashes may develop. While not serious, they can certainly be uncomfortable.
In the case of a large flea infestation, animals may become anemic and very weak.
Why do I have a flea or tick problem?
The main reason that fleas and ticks are on your property is because of wild animals. Fleas and ticks spend most of their lives on the backs of their hosts. When animals like rodents, deer, raccoons, skunks and other wild animals move from place to place, they bring fleas and ticks with them. So, whether you own pets or not, fleas and ticks can be on your property.
Fleas and ticks living outside find their way indoors after you or your pets come into contact with them. These insects are also introduced inside on used rugs and furniture infested with eggs, larvae, or adults.
Where will I find fleas & ticks?
Fleas that are not feeding on a host live outside in sandy areas. They like to hide in dark, moist places like under bushes, shrubs, woodpiles, or decks. Unlike ticks, fleas can live successfully inside, are prolific breeders, and are a challenge to eliminate from homes.
Ticks that are not feeding on a host hide outside in areas of tall grass, dense vegetation, in ditches, along ponds, or the edge of woods. Ticks usually don’t become a problem inside homes because most species are not capable of breeding and completing their life cycle indoors.
How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?
The best way to treat for fleas and ticks and prevent them from returning is with the help of a professional pest control company that specializes in flea control and tick control.
When homeowners partner with Star City Pest Control & Wildlife Services for flea and tick treatments in Roanoke, they can count on our team to eliminate these biting pests and restore your peace of mind. For more information or to schedule your free pest inspection, reach out today!
How can I prevent fleas and ticks in the future?
If you are looking for additional ways to protect your property from fleas and ticks, the following prevention tips will help.
- Trim back overgrown shrubs or bushes on your property.
- Keep the grass cut short.
- Remove bird feeders from your property that could attract wild animals.
- Place tight-fitting lids on trashcans and compost bins to keep wild animals from feeding in them.
- Inspect yourself, children, and pets for ticks and fleas after spending time outside.
- Don’t purchase used furniture or rugs for your home.
- Wash pet bedding.
- Place pets on a year-round flea and tick control program and regularly bathe and groom them.
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