As summer officially ends on the calendar this month, and the temperatures get cooler and the days get shorter, you may think you are free and clear from the dangers the seasons bring. But when it comes to fleas and ticks, that is simply not true. Here in Illinois, flea season starts in May and runs into winter. The worst time of the year for these annoying creatures is from September through November.
Pure Prairie Organics has you covered with everything you need to know regarding fleas and ticks, how to identify them, the dangers to be aware of, and how to prevent and stop them from harming your family.
First, What do Fleas and Ticks Look Like?
Both fleas and ticks are such tiny creatures; they are hard to see unless you get one on you. Fleas are reddish-brown, wingless, with narrow bodies no bigger than 1/6 of an inch long. They have six long legs, are thin and flat with hair that allows them to cling to their host as they latch onto their bodies.
Ticks are flat and oval in appearance with no wings. Here in Illinois, they come in a variety of colors, including grayish-white, brown, black, reddish-brown, or yellowish. Adult ticks have eight legs, but tick larvae have six. Once they become an adult, they are approximately the size of a pencil eraser. Ticks are capable of biting at all four of their active life stages: egg, larval, nymph, and adult.
Why Are Fleas and Ticks Such a Nuisance?
Dangers of Ticks
Both fleas and ticks carry harmful diseases. While most tick-borne diseases are not fatal, mainly resulting in flu-like symptoms, it is when they become chronic that there is an issue. The most common type of disease carried by ticks is Lyme disease. Symptoms of Lyme disease often mimic the flu. However, if left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to problems with your brain and nervous system, heart issues, and cause memory or brain fog. Ticks also carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and various other viruses.
Danger of Fleas
Flea fecal matter and saliva can cause allergic reactions in both animals and humans called flea allergic dermatitis. Some animals are more sensitive than others, and for some, flea bites can lead to severe itching, irritation, and scratching. It can even cause major infections in some pets. If enough fleas infest a host, the host animal can lose enough blood and become anemic. Fleas also carry tapeworms which can be contracted after the accidental ingestion of a flea. They also play a role in the spread of typhus, plague, and bartonellosis.
So how can you help keep your family safe from the wrath of these evil insects? Here are a few simple and easy ways to help keep your family and pets safe this season and next.
Four Easy Ways to Protect Your Family and Pets
Keep Your Yard Maintained and Clean
First, know their habitats and avoid them. Fleas and ticks love to hang out in tall grass, shady trees, and shrubs, along hedgerows and under your decks and porches. Keep your grass cut, your trees and bushes trimmed, and landscape beds cleaned. Be sure no branches are touching your house and clean up any falling debris as soon as it occurs because before you know it, these annoying creatures will make it their home.
Check Your Clothing
When you venture outdoors, camping, hiking, or even mowing and weeding your backyard, check your clothing before going inside. Light-colored clothing will help you spot them easier. Always look closely behind your ears, the back of your elbows, and on your scalp, where ticks especially like to hide.
Inspect Your Pets
Along with checking your clothing, hair, and skin, you’ll want to check your pet’s fur, too. Fleas, especially like it, hitchhike rides along the back of your animal’s fur. Use a comb to inspect especially hairy pets and invest in tick and flea protection such as Frontline or Advantix.
Keep Your Illinois Home Clean
Once inside your home, female fleas can lay up to 40 eggs per day, and it only takes 24 hours after a blood meal for her to be able to start laying those eggs. The flea’s eggs, larvae, and pupae are commonly found in or around rugs, carpeting, and — most commonly — your pet’s bedding.
Keep these areas clean by vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping wood floors with hot water and washing your pet’s bedding and toys consistently.
Get Professional Flea and Tick Control from Pure Prairie Organics
While all of these tips are great and will help, only true flea and tick control can stop these maddening creatures from wreaking havoc on your life. Pure Prairie Organics offers two highly effective flea and tick control services to help protect your family and beloved furry friends. We offer both a natural and a chemical solution. For both, we begin service in June and continue applying monthly throughout the season.
Learn more about our flea and tick control as well as the other lawn and pest services we provide by visiting our website. Fill out our request form on the home page and receive an estimate right away! Or give us a call at 630-780-7939.
We hope you learned something from the article above. If so, please feel free to share with family and friends. Then stay tuned for next month’s blog article. And, check us out on Facebook for even more tips and ideas.