Summer is in full swing here in Wisconsin! That means warmer days, longer nights, and lots of fun in your backyard. Whether it’s family time you are enjoying or relaxing on your patio, the last thing you want to deal with is annoying, harmful insects that wreak havoc not just on you but on your beloved pet. Fleas and ticks have another agenda, however, and that is to find a nice meal they can munch on irritating your furball friends and you. How can you help stop these opportunistic moochers?
First, you need to learn how to identify them. Know what they look like, where they live, and what attracts them to your backyard. Here is everything you wanted to know about fleas and ticks and ways to prevent them from ruining your outdoor fun.
How to Identify Fleas and Ticks
Both fleas and ticks are tiny creatures and hard to see unless you get one on you. Fleas are reddish-brown, wingless, with narrow bodies no bigger than 1/6 of an inch long. They are thin and flat with hair and have six long legs. Their flat bodies allow for easy movement while the hair enables them to cling to their host, primarily your beloved fur animals.
Ticks are flat and oval in appearance with no wings. They come in a variety of colors, including grayish-white, brown, black, reddish-brown, or yellowish. Adult ticks have eight legs, but tick larvae have six. Once they become an adult, they are approximately the size of a pencil eraser. Ticks are capable of biting at all four of their active life stages: egg, larval, nymph, and adult.
Where Do Fleas and Ticks Hide?
The best way to avoid them is to stay away from or be cautious in areas where they live. Fleas and ticks love shady areas of your yard. This can be under trees, hedgerows, and especially under decks and porches where pets like to hide. If you live in the country, ticks are prone to hang out in tall grass or overgrown areas where they wait for deer or unaware humans to pass by.
While ticks prefer the taste of deer and human blood, fleas would much rather attack your pets than you. But once they get on your pet and are brought indoors, they can quickly become a problem. A female flea can lay up to fifty eggs a day for six months. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder an infestation can quickly occur. Once inside, fleas are tough to get rid of and may require professional help.
Dangers From Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks may seem small and harmless, but they can drive your pets crazy and can cause allergic reactions in humans. They can also carry diseases that can affect both pets and owners.
Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which causes rashes, joint pain, chills, fever, and fatigue. They are also known to carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which can cause fever, nausea, conjunctivitis, joint pain, and muscle pain.
Fleas are known to cause allergies, tapeworm, and Murine Typhus, which fleas contract from infected rats. Symptoms include body aches, fever, and nausea.
Tips on How to Keep Your Yard Safe From Fleas and Ticks Keep Grass Short
Ticks hide in the tall grass, waiting for unsuspecting deer and other animals to pass by. Consider mowing any tall lawn in your yard, primarily if children and pets frequent it. By cutting
tall grass, you eliminate the desirable shady areas fleas and ticks prefer, forcing them to move out and go elsewhere.
Trim Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs can harbor many insects that can invade your home, including fleas and ticks. When trees are too close to the house, they can use the limbs as bridges to enter your home. That’s why it’s important to keep your trees trimmed and make sure no branches are touching the house.
For Fleas Specifically, Keep the Yard Clean
A clean, clear yard is an effective way of preventing fleas. This includes keeping the grass cut, the trees and shrubs trimmed, and the landscape beds clean. In doing these things, you eliminate hiding places for fleas, which will drive them away from your lawn.
You will also want to keep your yard clean and clear of anything that will bring other flea-carrying critters anywhere near your home (raccoons, deer, feral cats, etc.) This includes keeping the trash in bags and cans, leaving the grill covered, and never leaving any loose food sources out.
Block High-Risk Areas
If you have curious pets or adventurous children who like to wander into tall grass or hide under porches, where fleas and ticks dwell, you might consider blocking them.
Call The Flea and Tick Experts
If you suspect your yard is infested with fleas, ticks, or other annoying insects, call the pros at Buzz Off Mosquito. Our flea and tick control can eliminate adult fleas and stunt larvae and pupae before they can reach the adult stage of their life-cycle and reproduce. Our trained experts will assess your yard, pinpoint targeted areas, and spray a fog that will stop these annoying creatures from harming you, your family, or furry friends. Call us at 715-281-3289 or contact us now and learn how we can control your flea and tick problem today.