Ticks & Fleas

Feeds on the blood of warm-blooded bodies

Ticks are often mistaken for insects, but they are actually arachnids. Regarding tick identification, they are classified into two categories: soft ticks and hard ticks. Soft ticks often feed on bats and birds, while hard ticks feed on humans, pets and nuisance wildlife. Regardless, if you are dealing with an infestation, the removal of ticks from your property should be handled by a professional exterminator. A professional can help you in identifying the type of ticks you are dealing with and the safest and most efficient process for tick removal.

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Brown Dog Tick

Brown Dog Tick Treatment & Prevention

The best way to prevent brown dog ticks is awareness of dog surroundings and dog prevention medications. Keeping pet areas clean and free of debris can help locate engorged ticks looking to lay eggs and remove them from the house. Brown dog tick treatment for pets is also an important prevention tool. Pets should be treated with flea and tick repellent as necessary.

If an infestation is discovered, the occupant or owner of the infested home or kennel must thoroughly clean the area and remove all debris to eliminate as many ticks as possible. Pet bedding and resting areas should receive careful attention. The dog or pet must be treated, preferably by a veterinarian or grooming parlor, on the same day of treatment, either before or while the premises are being treated. For indoor and outdoor treatment of the infested property, contact a tick control professional immediately. 

Habits

On dogs, adult brown dog ticks can typically be found on the ears and between the toes, while younger or immature ones attach along the dog’s back. Knowing proper dog tick removal is essential. When not feeding on a host, brown dog ticks can be found both outside and inside, although they generally prefer the warm, dry conditions inside homes. Brown dog ticks are unusual among ticks in that they can complete their entire life cycle indoors, allowing them to establish populations in colder climates. Outdoors, they’re known to scale up shrubs, grass and other vegetation, attaching themselves to passing hosts such as dogs, deer, rabbits and even humans. 

Brown dog ticks are notorious for infesting homes once brought inside, typically via pets such as dogs. Once inside, female ticks will drop off of their host and lay eggs in any crack or crevice they can find, potentially causing an explosion of hundreds of immature ticks after a few weeks. They typically move upward to higher ground, so eggs are often deposited in openings near wall hangings, ceiling, or roofs, promoting host encounters. They can also be found in cracks around baseboards, window frames and door frames. These dark brown eggs are usually laid in masses of 1,000-3,000. Once they hatch, the larval ticks will usually feed on pets like dogs or cats, but can also be found on humans.

Both adult and larval brown dog ticks are capable of surviving without feeding for up to eight months. Aside from catching a ride inside on a household pet, possums, raccoons and other wildlife can carry these ticks into a yard, after which they can take shelter in doghouses and beneath decks.

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Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Tick Bites

Lone star tick bites will occasionally result in a circular rash, and they can transmit diseases. If a lone star tick is found on the body, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin's surface as possible. Then, pull upward with steady, even pressure and avoid twisting or jerking the tick as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. Once the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite site with soap and water. Then, flush the tick down the toilet or wrap it tightly in a tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle. If you develop a rash, headaches, pains or fever, call a doctor immediately.

To avoid lone star tick bites, experts recommend wearing tick repellent and long-sleeved clothes. Avoid sitting on logs, stumps, or the ground in bushy areas. Periodically inspect clothing and the body for ticks to remove them before they become attached.

Habits

The lone star tick is a 3-host tick, with each stage requiring a different host. These ticks usually contact a host by crawling up on the tips of low-growing vegetation and waiting for a host to pass by and brush the vegetation. While larvae are almost entirely dependent on this behavior, nymphs and adults may become stimulated by the warmth and carbon dioxide from a host spending considerable time in the area and will drop to the ground, find the host, and climb onto it.

Lone star ticks cannot survive long exposure to the sun and are therefore typically found in shaded areas. The habitat must also contain both small animal hosts for larvae and large animal hosts for adults. A relative humidity of greater than 65 percent is required for egg hatch and larval survival until host attachment. A favorite habitat of the lone star tick is the woods to lawn or meadow transitional zone.

Small animal larval hosts include the gray fox, cottontail rabbit, striped skunk, raccoon, cotton rat, gray squirrel, cat, and ground nesting birds. Nymphs get on many of these same animals, as well as larger animals typical for adults. Adult hosts include foxes, dogs, cats, cattle, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and humans – humans are attacked by all 3 stages.

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Dog Flea

Appearance

  • Adult is brownish black in colour, but appear reddish–black after a blood meal.

  • Adult dog fleas are 1 to 4 mm long. The legless larva is off–white and measures up to 5 mm long.

Lifecycle

  • The fleas go through a four–stage life cycle: eggs, larvae, pupae, adult.

  • The larvae are longer than the adults and feed on particles of dry blood, excrement, and organic substances.

Habits

  • The body is laterally flattened, which allows it to move easily through an animal’s fur. Spines project backwards from the body of the flea, which help it to hold onto the host animal during grooming.

  • As they can jump approximately 6 inches, they can move from host to host. They can also infest garden lawns.

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Cat Flea

Appearance

  • Cat fleas are 3mm long wingless ticks, flattened from side to side with long legs enabling them to jump.

  • They have both genal and pronotal combs (ctenidia), differentiating them from most other fleas of domestic animals.

Lifecycle

  • Fleas pass through four stages: eggs, larva, pupa, adult. The eggs are small and white. These stages combined vary from two weeks to eight months.

  • The adult flea is awakened by the detection of vibration of pet or human movement, pressure, heat, noise, or carbon dioxide for potential blood meals.

  • A cat flea cannot complete its life–cycle feeding only on human blood.

Habits

  • Cat fleas nest where the host is in its usual resting place, for example the cat basket. This is where the young often drop to mature.