Even though it seems like we have just entered into the spring season, summer in St. Louis will be here before we know it. To most people summer means sunshine, gardening, picnics and other outdoor fun, but it also means bugs. The warm weather of summer makes bugs of all kinds come out and become very active.
Some bugs are more of a nuisance and others are downright dangerous. Fleas and ticks are species that fall into that alarming category.
Both fleas and ticks are parasites which means they feed off of the blood of mammals and therefore can, unfortunately, transmit some serious diseases. Since we care so much about the health and safety of the families in our communities, the professionals at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions would like to share some critical information with the public regarding these pests.
The most common type of flea found in the St. Louis area is the cat flea. They are wingless and very small. In fact, if they haven’t just fed, you may mistake them for a small speck of debris. Despite their small body size, these fleas do have large powerful hind legs that allow them to jump vertically, an impressive 6 inches. This ability to jump is what allows them to get onto a new host and start feeding. Along with causing irritations to people by biting them, cat fleas are responsible for transmitting diseases and parasites like tapeworms, plague, and murine typhus. Both family pets and wild animals are the general culprits for introducing these pests to your property and home.
The two most common species of ticks found in the St. Louis area are the American dog tick and the black legged tick.
The American dog tick is a relatively large tick species especially when engorged. They have oval bodies with whitish-gray markings on them. The domestic dog is this tick’s favorite host, but will easily attach and feed off of humans if they get the opportunity. These ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and cause tick paralysis.
The black legged tick is a very small tick that has a flat oval body, they are an orange-reddish brown color with dark brown or black legs. Their favorite host is the white-tailed deer, but again will easily attach and feed off of other animals, pets and people. Black legged deer ticks are a very large concern for people since they transmit Lyme disease to both people and their pets.
So, how do you get rid of fleas and ticks? Additionally, how do we protect ourselves and our pets from these pests? Here are some tips for both preventing and controlling ticks and fleas.
When spending time outdoors especially in wooded areas or in areas of high grass dress appropriately. Long sleeves, and long pants that are tucked into your socks. This attire may not be a fashion statement but will protect you from fleas and ticks.
Make sure that family pets are being treated with flea and tick preventative under the supervision of their veterinarian.
Keep grass on your property mowed down short.
Check yourself and pets for fleas and ticks before coming indoors. Even if you don’t have family pets, both can be introduced into your home on your or a family member.
Regularly vacuum your home, especially carpeted areas.
Routinely wash pets bedding, and vacuum the areas thoroughly where they spend a lot of time.
St. Louis pest control services should be sought immediately if these pests make their way into your home. Professional pest control is the safest and most effective way to completely eliminate pests, like ticks and fleas, from your home. The experts at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions hope that the information and tips we’ve provided proves helpful in preventing fleas and ticks from getting into your home this summer season. However, if they do manage to get inside, contact us immediately and we will provide you with specialized services, like tick control, to aid you in whatever your pest problem may be!