You may think you, your family, and your pets are safe from the annoying bites of fleas and mosquitoes if you stay away from wooded areas or fields with tall grass. But, unfortunately, these annoying and harmful pests may be lurking in your own backyard. If allowed to run rampant, they can carry horrible diseases that can affect the health of you and your pets. Here’s why you should consider a professional pest control application this summer.
Fleas And Ticks: Nature’s Little Nightmares
Before we get into why they’re so bad, it’s probably a good idea to know what they look like.
Fleas are smaller than ticks with reddish-brown shiny bodies. They’re about 2.5 mm in length, and they can scurry quickly through the fur or hair of your pet. As you can imagine, this makes them difficult to spot. They are wingless, but what they lack in flight, they make up for in leg muscles. In addition, they are prodigious jumpers – reaching heights of eight inches or about 150x their own body height. Unlike ticks, which need direct contact with a host, fleas can use their jumping bean abilities to hop onto a pet that’s even somewhat close to them. When pets bring fleas inside, they will quickly overrun your indoor space. And while they don’t live on humans as ticks can, they will certainly bite you if they get the chance. And again, because of their small size, they can easily camouflage themselves and make it impossible to spot and kill them. It’s why you should get professional flea control every year.
Ticks are not as ambitious as fleas. Fleas will use their jumping abilities to hop onto your pet as it passes by. Ticks can’t jump well. They prefer to hide in places like tall grass, where they can cling to leaves and stems and wait for an animal or human to brush against them. When this happens, they will latch onto the victim. And unlike fleas, they can live on humans until they are removed or full of blood. They appear brown, red-brown, yellow, or black. Some are roughly the same size as fleas but most a few millimeters larger – especially if they are engorged with blood.sp;
Diseases Carried By Fleas And Ticks
Carried in the bodies of fleas, tapeworm infections pass to your dog when they are bitten. They live in your pet’s intestines and cause a great deal of digestive issues and irritation. Interestingly, your pet cannot get tapeworm by ingesting the eggs of the worm directly. Instead, they must pass through an intermediary host, i.e., the flea. You can protect your beloved pets from this torment with a flea and tick control application.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection. The culprit is the Borrelia burgdorferi. It was first recognized in the US in 1975 when a group of young people began experiencing arthritis-like symptoms in Lyme, Connecticut, hence the name. About 320,000 people contract Lyme disease annually. Initially, Lyme disease is marked by flu-like symptoms – fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes. A bulls-eye rash, called erythema migrans, is the most characteristic symptom of Lyme disease, and how you can distinguish it from actual flu.
It begins as a red circular patch, generally, at the tick bite site, that appears three days to one month after the bite. The patch then expands to a diameter of 2 to 12 inches or more. Common areas for the rash to appear are the thigh, groin, trunk, and armpits. The center of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a ring-like appearance. It is usually not painful. However, it is important to note that 30 to 50 percent of patients may not display the rash. In late-stage Lyme disease, symptoms may occur weeks, months, or even years later. These symptoms include arthritis, migratory pain and swelling in the large joints (especially the knees), and nervous system abnormalities, including numbness, pain, Bell’s palsy (paralysis of the facial muscles, usually on one side), and meningitis. Occasionally, irregularities in heart rhythm may occur. While most people make a full recovery under the care of a physician, there is a chance you may develop lifelong chronic symptoms – so why chance it all?
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is spread through bacteria from a tick bite. And like Lyme disease, the early symptoms may mimic a bad case of the flu. However, RMSF can quickly progress and lead to severe, even life-threatening problems. Signs and symptoms can include:
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
- Lack of appetite
Developing a rash is a common sign of RMSF. Rash usually develops 2-4 days after you develop a fever. While almost all patients with RMSF will develop a rash, it often does not appear early in the illness, making RMSF difficult to diagnose. RMSF can suffer permanent effects, including limb amputations due to damaged blood vessels, hearing loss, paralysis, or even mental disabilities.
Flea Bite Dermatitis
The bites of fleas are always annoying, but their bites can cause flea bite dermatitis for some unfortunate pets. When a flea bites your pet, it injects its saliva into the skin. This saliva contains enzymes, peptides, and amino acids. It also contains histamine-like compounds that trigger a release from the dog’s immune system. Flea saliva can cause an inflammatory reaction in some animals. Some dogs are hypersensitive and may experience symptoms in as few as 15 minutes; others have a delayed reaction that takes 24-48 hours. This response causes irritated skin, hair loss, and other skin problems. When your pet can’t stop itching, it can break open the skin and invite more bacteria in. Through yearly pest control applications and keeping up with lawn maintenance, you can keep both fleas and ticks away from your family and pets!
Get Professional Flea And Tick Control Near You
Land Art Inc provides perimeter pest control services to Dayton, Ohio, and Naples, Florida. So you’ll never have to worry about fleas and ticks finding their way into your home. Plus, this treatment also protects against things like spiders, stink bugs, and mosquitoes! Kill many bugs with one stone! To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call! Call 1.800.336.5296. You can also reach us online through our contact form. And don’t forget to check out our blog page for more helpful articles on yard care topics like fertilizing the lawn, keeping trees and shrubs healthy, and more!