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Fleas and Ticks - Meet the Culprits

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Fleas

Fleas and Ticks Fleas and Ticks Fleas and Ticks Fleas and Ticks

Fleas are pests of humans and domestic animals all over the world. Most fleas prefer non-human hosts, but many can and do feed readily on humans when infestations are heavy or when other hosts are not available. Fleas are small, wingless insects, which average 1/12 to 1/6 inch long, but can vary from as small as 1/25 to 1/3 inch long. Fleas generally require warmth, and humid conditions in order to develop substantial infestations, either indoors or out. Thus, flea problems seem to peak in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. However, the "flea season" can be year round in many regions, and especially in the South.

To control flea infestation, flea management in and around homes typically requires a carefully organized and executed program. An important factor of this program will be cooperation of the homeowner in maintaining proper sanitation and continued flea control of the pet(s).

Ticks

Fleas and Ticks Fleas and Ticks Fleas and Ticks Fleas and Ticks

All ticks feed exclusively on the blood of vertebrates. Most ticks spend the bulk of their life on or near the ground, waiting for a suitable host animal. Since they cannot run, hop, fly, or move quickly, ticks must climb onto an appropriate object such as tall grass or weeds or up onto fences and siding of buildings. Most of the tick problems that Roberts Termite and Pest Control encounter are in and around homes. A home can become heavily infested if the family dog picks up ticks from an infested residence, boarding kennel, open fields, or similar places.

To make it more difficult for ticks to get on the body, individuals walking in tick-infested areas should avoid sitting on the ground or on logs in brushy areas. A tick propellant applied to socks and trouser legs, will provide some protection. Effective tick management must consist of indoor and outdoor treatment. Residual sprays are generally effective for outdoor tick control. Non-residual products are generally formulated as space sprays. They can be effective either by direct contact, or when sublethal dosages stimulate ticks to move about, so they will be more likely to encounter residual materials.

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