For many pet owners, flea and tick season can bring feelings of dread and anxiety. But fleas and ticks don’t just pose a threat to our furry friends — these parasites are dangerous to all mammals, including humans. As it warms up, here are some of the most important things you should know about fleas, ticks, and the risks affiliated with them:
Flea and Tick Behavior
Fleas and ticks are both parasites that feast on blood.
These pests typically live outside in long, tall grass and wooded areas. Both pests are known for their uncomfortable, itchy bites and the chaos they can cause.
Fleas often catch rides on pets and will live wherever they live — including your home. Adult fleas lay eggs on their hosts, and larvae don’t take long to hatch. Within just a couple of weeks, flea eggs can hatch, and an infestation can quickly get out of hand. Though indoor tick infestations are uncommon, they can happen if you bring them inside on your clothing or if they hitchhike on your cat or dog. Parasite infestations like this aren’t just inconvenient — they are dangerous.
The Dangers of Fleas and Ticks
Humans aren’t the preferred meal source for fleas and ticks, but when parasites latch on to people, they can create significant health problems. Ticks can expose their hosts to many diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and alpha-gal syndrome. Fleas aren’t known to carry as many diseases, but they can be vectors of disease and carry parasites.
They can also leave nasty bites that are irritating at best and highly uncomfortable at worst. Like all wounds, tick and flea bites can become infected if not treated properly. If you suspect you have a flea or tick bite and you’re concerned about swelling, redness, itching, or other symptoms, contact your doctor.
When Is Flea and Tick Season?
During winter months, fleas and ticks tend to enter a state of diapause, not unlike hibernation. Some regions that don’t experience distinct weather patterns from season to season may have fleas and ticks year-round.
The time of year when fleas and ticks are more active mostly correlates with weather patterns. Flea and tick populations can be affected by many variables, but they’re most active during warm, wet weather. In the Mid-Atlantic region, flea and tick season usually runs from March to December.
How to Prevent a Flea Infestation
Fleas are notoriously hard to get rid of without professional intervention, and the best strategy to prevent a severe flea problem starts with protecting your pets. In most cases, fleas will not gravitate toward human hosts. However, if you spot evidence of fleas, including live fleas, unexplained bites, or flea dirt, contact a professional pest control company, such as Alexandria Pest Services, as soon as possible.
How to Protect Yourself From Ticks
Ticks are usually found in densely wooded areas or tall, thick grass. If you spend time outside, it’s important to take preventative measures to protect yourself from ticks. Insect repellants are usually effective if applied correctly. You may also want to consider wearing form-fitting clothing, as ticks are more likely to hide in the folds of loose clothes. And like fleas, ticks are more likely to gravitate toward an animal than a human — so preventative medication on your pets is a must.
Handling a Flea or Tick Problem
If you suspect you have a flea infestation in your home, contacting a professional pest control company is the best way to quickly eradicate your problem. Our Alexandria Pest Services’ experts are here to help in any way we can.
Call in the Pros to Get Rid of Pests for Good!
If you find that you are having a problem with insects, rodents, termites, or other pests and need an exterminator in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., or Maryland, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office! Contact us today to learn more.