flea on human skin

What are fleas & ticks?

Fleas and ticks are two different species, but both are ectoparasites that solely feed on warm-blooded animals’ blood. Fleas are a type of wingless insect, and ticks are a type of arachnid. Both are common invaders of our outdoor space and sometimes also find their way into our home.

tick on a plant

Fleas can become a huge problem inside our homes as they can reproduce indoors; ticks are mainly a problem in our outdoor spaces as most cannot reproduce indoors. 

In our area, we have both cat fleas and dog fleas; despite their name, both feed on many different hosts, including cats, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Black legged deer ticks and dog ticks are the two most prevalent ticks in our area.

Fleas are identified by their oval-shaped body that is flattened from side to side and covered in a hard-shell. They are typically reddish-brown. 

Ticks have a soft, oval body. They are wingless; like other arachnids, adults have eight legs and a hardened plate behind the head. Black legged deer ticks are a brownish-orange color with distinctive darker colored legs. Dog ticks are larger than deer ticks and are brown with grayish markings.

Are fleas & ticks dangerous?

Fleas and ticks are biting pests that should never feel welcome on our properties. Ticks are vectors of major diseases that can make people quite ill. Black legged deer ticks are responsible for the spread of the very serious Lyme disease.

Fleas are also vectors of some pathogens that make people ill, but their bites are more of an issue than the diseases they spread. Most people and animals are allergic to their saliva, and after being bitten, they will develop red itchy rashes. Secondary infections can occur because of itching at flea bites. These tiny pests also spread parasitic tapeworm to both people and animals.

Why do I have a flea & tick problem?

Fleas and ticks are most active in our area from early spring to the late fall. Warm, humid weather conditions allow these pests to flourish. Fleas and ticks can become a problem on any property because they are most often introduced by traveling wild animals, rodents, and stray pets. As animals feed and move across your yard, they leave behind these unwanted guests. After coming into contact with these pests either in your yard or in another outdoor space, you, your kids, or pets can introduce them into your home. Another common way fleas move indoors is on the backs of rodents that entered your home to nest.

Where will I find fleas & ticks?

The preferred host for fleas is an animal host; while they will feed on people if available, they would much rather be on the back of an animal. After developing into mature adults in the damp soil, adults will jump onto an animal host that passes by them. Fleas tend to spend their entire short life on the back of one host- feeding and breeding. Their eggs will fall off the host and onto the ground. Damp soil found under leaves, woodpiles, shrubs, decks, and areas of dense vegetation or tall grass are examples of places where populations of fleas are most likely to develop. Fleas develop best where there is plenty of shade; direct sunlight kills flea eggs and larvae.

Fleas living indoors that are not feeding on a host will live in areas of a home that provide them with damp, dark living conditions. In pieces of upholstered furniture, under rugs, behind baseboards, in the cracks of floors, and bedding.

Ticks have a much longer potential lifespan than fleas and develop from egg to adult over a period of two to three years. At each new life stage (larvae, nymph, and adult), ticks require a blood meal from a new host.

Ticks can’t fly or jump, so to find a host, they crawl to the tops of pieces of grass, weeds, or other vegetation, waiting for a person or animal to brush past them that they can crawl onto. The most common places to come into contact with ticks include wooded areas, the edges of walking trails, fields, yards, and fencelines.

How do I get rid of fleas & ticks?

Enjoy your property without the fear of being bitten by parasitic pests like fleas and ticks with the help of the local professionals at Destroy Pest Control. For over 15 years, we have been committed to developing pest control solutions that rely on the principles of Integrated Pest Management. Our long-term strategies help to ensure that when pests are eliminated, they won’t return!

Through exceptional pest control services, the use of eco-friendly products, and a commitment to our customers, we help residents of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia maintain properties that aren’t being invaded by fleas, ticks, and other pests. To learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control options, reach out to us at Destroy Pest Control today!

How can I prevent fleas & ticks in the future?

Being proactive and partnering with Destroy Pest Control is the best way to avoid problems with fleas, ticks, and other area pests. When combined with our flea and tick control services, the following prevention tips will help to make your property a place that fleas and ticks won't want to be!

  • Remove areas of overgrown vegetation from your yard.

  • Cut back wooded areas or areas of tall grass from your property line.

  • Keep your lawn's grass cut short.

  • Don't overwater your lawn, and make sure gutters are working correctly.

  • Seal holes in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline of your house to keep flea-infested rodents and other wild animals out.

  • Keep lids on trash cans to prevent rodents, stray pets, and other animals from being attracted to your yard. 

  • Regularly vacuum floors and upholstered furniture and wash bedding.

  • Place your pets on a year-round flea and ticks control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.

  • Thoroughly clean secondhand rugs and upholstered furniture before bringing them into your home.


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