Fleas and Ticks: Small but Menacing
Household pests range from small to large, from annoying to dangerous. Despite their tiny size, fleas and ticks are not creatures you want living in your home. In addition to being harder to get rid of and unlike rodents, they feed on humans and pets. Instead of using your home for shelter like a mouse, squirrel, or rat, these bugs will do this and suck your blood. This may be a bit exaggerated, but flea infestations are one of the worst encounters a homeowner can have. Within days of initial contact, the number of bugs in your home can multiply very quickly. Keep in mind that pet owners are not the only ones at risk; fleas are perfectly fine with feeding on human flesh, and if given the opportunity will find a way inside. To be clear, those with pets are at a higher risk, especially people who have dogs that go outside frequently.
More Than Meets the Eye
Knowing the potential severity of a flea problem, and what can happen if you do not take action quickly is important. Nearly 90-95% of the fleas in your house have not reached maturity. A small number will be growing in cocoons, more will be at larvae phase and more still in unhatched eggs. Therefore, if you see a few crawling in your pet’s fur or on your leg, assume there at least 10 times as many bugs currently nesting. To make matters worse, fleas can live up to three months without feeding. This alone should inspire you to take action right away.
Ticks are easier to identify due to their unique size, shape, and markings. They remain attached to their host and are thus easier to catch, but are just as troublesome. Thoroughly inspect your pet’s coat and inside their ears, as these are the prime spots where ticks go to feed. Fleas bounce and are rarely killed by being caught directly. The sporadic bite patterns (often on the lower legs and ankles) should not be confused with bed bugs that bite in rows of three.
Chemical treatments work best for both flea and tick removal. For the latter, make sure to vacuum your floors daily after spraying your carpet with a store bought product. The potency of white vinegar is a natural deterrent, and should be used in conjunction on tile and wood flooring.
Consumer-based foggers are effective, but multiple applications may need to be administered to kill every pest. Flea and tick infestations are best left to a professional exterminator. Get in touch with Al’s Exterminators once previous efforts have failed.