For many in the Houston area, warmer temperatures bring sunshine and fun. That means more time spent outdoors hiking, running, or exploring the woods with friends, family, and pets. But not only the residents favor the summer months here.
The milder temperatures and increased humidity in Houston spring and summers provide ideal conditions for survival and increased reproduction rates for both fleas and ticks. And as you and your pets spend more time outside, the likelihood you’ll encounter them and the potential harm they can cause increases.
Even if you remember to wear bug spray and quickly check yourself and your pets, you’re still vulnerable to these sneaky critters. Fortunately, there is a lot known about these creatures and how to spot them and handle them effectively.
Ticks are small insects that are typically three to five millimeters long. They are parasites, belonging to the arachnid class, making them closely related to spiders or mites. There are many different types of ticks, but Texas is home to these four common types:
All of these types of ticks are hard-shelled and cannot fly or jump. They find their hosts by hanging onto blades or grass or leaves in grassy or wooded areas where humans and animals frequent. They grab onto the host as they’re passing, and find a spot to bite to feed on the host’s blood.
Also read: 8 Facts You Didn’t Know About Ticks
Fleas are also tiny parasitic insects that are closely related to beetles or ants. They’re reddish-brown with flat bodies. Like ticks, they can’t fly, but they can jump. In fact, they have an eight-inch jumping ability, making it easy for them to ambush you or your pets.
They survive by sucking on the blood of their host. Between 24-48 hours after finding a host and feeding on them, female fleas will lay their eggs – up to 50 a day. The eggs and “flea dirt” (partially digested blood) fall off you or your pet, starting a new lifecycle of fleas.
What Threat Do They Pose to You and Your Pets?
Ticks are known as “vectors” for disease transmission, meaning they carry micro-organisms that cause disease in both you and your pet, from animal to animal. So, if a tick bites an infected animal, then bites you or your pet – you’re at risk for the same disease. Diseases ticks are known to pass:
Similar to ticks, fleas can pose various threats to you and your pets. It can be as simple as irritated skin or allergies, or more severe, like:
If the idea of ticks and fleas and the potential disease they cause alarms you, don’t worry. There are several methods to remain vigilant against these little pests. To keep them at bay, you should:
Arming yourself with knowledge surrounding fleas and tick and how to control them is critical for this time of year. To further protect yourself for these insects, contact us at Cypress Creek. As experts in extermination, we can use the right products to reduce your probability of dealing with ticks and fleas.