School’s not the only thing out for summer. Fleas and ticks are out too! With swimming pools opening and baseball season in full swing, it’s a great time of the year to enjoy the great outdoors… Just be sure not to bring any uninvited “housepests” back inside with you!
No matter the activity – hiking, biking, running – if you’re outdoors, it’s important to remember that you’re never alone. Hundreds of ticks and fleas are watching your every move, looking for a way to get indoors. These pests can easily hitch a ride into your home on clothing, skin or on your favorite four-legged friend. And, once they find a way in, watch out –infestations and serious health problems may be headed your way.
A common misconception is that fleas only affect dogs and cats. Unfortunately, fleas bite humans too, since they are simply looking for a warm-blooded host to attack. Once they bite, it’s not pretty. They can spread bacterial diseases through their saliva. To prevent fleas from entering the home, bathe and groom your pets regularly. And, to remove fleas that have already made their way inside, vacuum frequently. Be sure to immediately dispose of the vacuum bag when you’re finished, since fleas can be savvy escape artists.
Ticks are also on the rise due to growing deer populations. As you may know, ticks can be extremely dangerous since they can spread Lyme Disease. Small in size, ticks are natural chameleons, resembling a small mole or freckle. So, when returning indoors, be sure to thoroughly inspect your clothing and skin, paying close attention to the head. We have heard many stories of ticks hiding behind ears, under arms and on the feet – including stories from some of our very own pest professionals! Be sure to give your pet an inspection too – examining the shoulder/back area, as well as both behind and inside of the ears.
Here are some additional tips to keep fleas and ticks at bay:
- Keep lawns groomed to avoid rodent habitation (ticks can adhere to mice, as well);
- When walking pets outdoors, keep them on a leash to prevent them from roaming through tall grass where fleas and ticks are most commonly found; and
- Seal cracks and crevices where ticks can hide, both inside and on the exterior of the home.
With summer unofficially kicking off this holiday weekend, we hope these tips keep you, your loved ones and your home healthy and safe all season long!