Your backyard should be a place to relax, spend time with family, and take a break from the grind of daily life. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks may be attracted to your yard as well. If you have an active flea or tick infestation, it can put the health and safety of your family and pets at risk. Following these tips for flea and tick prevention will help you keep these annoying bugs out of your yard.
Due to their small size and coloring, it can be tricky to tell the difference between these two common pests. Here’s how to identify what you’re dealing with.
Of the insects we’re discussing today, fleas are the smaller of the two. They are reddish-brown in color and have shiny exoskeletons. At only about 2.5 mm in length, fleas can be tough to spot, especially if your pet has dark-colored fur. They are wing-less insects but are expert jumpers. In fact, they can jump as high as eight inches. If you’re not impressed, that’s 150x their own body height. Let’s see human Olympians do that! It’s this incredible jumping that makes them tricky to treat. By the time you’ve spotted one, it could have dodged the flea comb.
Unlike ticks, which can latch on to humans, fleas tend to live on animals. Most of the time, fleas are brought in when our pets carry them in from outside. They will quickly infest areas where your dog or cat likes to nap. They bite both pets and humans alike, but they do not live on humans, unlike other pests like lice. Their bites leave behind red, swollen, itchy bumps. In severe cases, they can actually cause an allergic reaction and spread diseases.
Ticks are less active than fleas. Fleas will use their jumping abilities to hop on to your pet as it passes by. On the other hand, Ticks will hide in places like tall grass where they can cling to fronds and stems and wait for an animal or human to brush against them. When this happens, they will detach from the plant. And unlike fleas, they can live on humans until they are removed or full of blood. They come in brown, red-brown, yellow, or black colors. Some are roughly the same size as fleas but most a few millimeters larger – especially if they are engorged with blood.
Aside from the immediate itchy bite marks, these bugs can spread diseases to both humans and animals. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Equine Encephalitis are just a few. Some people can even develop allergies to eating red meat after being bitten by ticks.
The best and most effective prevention method is hiring a pest control company to apply flea and tick yard spray. This will get to the root of the problem by killing off the bugs – not just repelling them. There are other things you can do to discourage bugs from choosing your yard.
Like many pests, fleas and ticks do not enjoy direct sunlight. Keeping your grass mowed regularly, at the height of 2 – 3 inches, will make your lawn less attractive.
Tallgrass and shady areas provide shelter. Board up places like the underside of porches and decks, keep pets away from tall ornamental grass, and avoid overwatering your lawn. If insects have nowhere to eat, sleep, or drink, they’re unlikely to stay in your yard. Other “problem areas” that could be a haven for bugs include uncleared organic debris – think twigs, branches, or dead leaves.
The scent of cedar has been shown to repel biting insects like fleas and ticks.
Keep a flea comb on hand and give your pets a quick brushing after coming in from the outside. Also, fleas and ticks on dogs could be lurking in between the pads on their paws, so don’t forget to inspect their feet!
If your property is directly next to a wooded or swampy area, consider setting up a privacy fence. This physical barrier will slow the migration of any fleas or ticks and will keep pets and children from wandering into hotspots.
Fleas and ticks don’t stand a chance against the experts at Lawn Lab. Our flea and tick treatment knocks out these annoying bugs in both larval and adult form to kill existing bugs and guard against future ones. Keep you, your family, and your pets safe with this practical, tried-and-true method. Give us a call today at (972) 287-7400 or contact us online for a free quote. To learn more about pest control and all things lawn care, be sure to visit our blog page and like our Facebook page for the latest deals and service offerings!