What are fleas and ticks?
Fleas are insects that are about the size of a speck of dirt and feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They are dark, reddish-brown insects with hard bodies that are flattened from side to side. Adult fleas are wingless. Instead of flying, they use their long, powerful back legs to move distances or find their way onto a host. Fleas prefer to feed on animals; however, they will feed on people if animal hosts are not available.
Ticks are arachnids and related to spiders and mites. Like fleas, they have a diet that is made up solely of warm-blooded animal blood. They have oval-shaped bodies and are small, but their bodies swell and become engorged after feeding.
Both fleas and ticks are ectoparasites which means they use specialized mouthparts to cut through the skin of their hosts to feed on their blood from outside the body. Fleas have a short lifespan of a couple of months, while ticks, in the right environmental conditions, can live up to two years or longer. Fleas live the majority of their adult lives on the body of a single host. Ticks have four different life stages and feed on a new host at each new life stage.
Are fleas and ticks dangerous?
Fleas and ticks cause a variety of health problems for people and animals, making them dangerous pests. Ticks are most problematic because of their ability to spread diseases that can make us ill. As they feed, they spread diseases through their saliva.
Fleas can spread some diseases but are more well-known for the allergic reactions they trigger. Most people and animals are allergic to their saliva. After being bitten by a flea, it is common for a red itchy rash to develop. Scratching at flea bites can lead to scarring and secondary infections and, in animals, a loss of hair.
Why do I have a flea and tick problem?
The warm, humid weather Hawaii offers throughout most of the year provides the right environmental conditions for fleas and ticks to thrive.
These pests are most often introduced into our yards by wild animals or neighborhood pets. As they move across our properties, fleas and ticks will fall off their bodies. When spending time in your yard, you or your pets could come into contact with them and introduce them into your home.
You or your pets can also come into contact with fleas and ticks in various outdoor places like playgrounds, fields, athletic fields, wooded trails, campgrounds, or dog parks.
Where will I find fleas and ticks?
Fleas spend most of their lives on their animal host, but before they find their way onto a host, they usually hide in dark, shady areas like under leaf piles, in tall grass, under decks, in sandy soil, or under mulch. They also tend to hang out in places where pets like dogs or cats regularly spend time in your yard.
Ticks come into contact with a host after climbing to the top of a piece of grass or other vegetation. When host brushes past them, they will climb onto them. People and animals regularly come into contact with ticks in tall grass or other vegetation next to fence lines, decks, or porch steps. Ticks also develop large populations in wooded areas or along wooded paths.
Though both fleas and ticks can wind up in our homes, fleas are more likely to become a problem inside, while ticks tend to be more of an issue in our yards. However, at first sight of either pest, you should contact a professional to eliminate them!
How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are small pests that are regularly introduced onto properties by wild animals, making keeping these pests at bay difficult. To eliminate problems with these pests, it is always best to partner with a local, experienced professional. Trust the team of pest control professionals at Pest Tech Hawaii to solve your property’s flea and tick problems.
Pest Tech Hawaii is a locally owned and operated pest control company dedicated to delivering pest control services in the Aloha spirit! We offer a full range of customizable pest control services to meet all of your pest control needs. If you live in Honolulu and want to learn more about our flea and tick control solutions or request an estimate, give Pest Tech Hawaii a call today!
How can I prevent rodents in the future?
Rodents are common household pests; partnering with a professional is always the best way to prevent these pests. The following tips will help to make your Hawaii home and property less attractive to rodents:
- Seal holes in your home’s exterior that rodents can fit their bodies through.
- Keep tight-fitting lids on trash cans, compost bins, and recycling bins to keep rodents out.
- Maintain garden areas and fruit trees.
- Remove bird feeders and other wild animal feeders from your property.
- Pick up uneaten pet food each evening.
- Keep outdoor eating and cooking areas free of food debris.
- Store food in your kitchen and pantry in hard-sided containers that are difficult for rodents to gnaw through.
- Keep perishables like fruits, vegetables, and baked goods in the fridge, not out on counters.
I have been using Pest Tech for the unit I manage and my personal property for the last 3 years. They are always on time, makes sure to follow up before regular service, cost efficient and always friendly.