Here in Houston, TX our humid and rainy climate combines with our mild winters to create an environment that allows ticks and fleas to thrive. Far from being just a nuisance to pets, these biting parasites can give people a hard time too. Not only do they leave itchy, painful welts when they bite, but they can also spread dangerous diseases. When you get fleas and ticks on your property, you could be exposing yourself to these diseases daily. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep them away from you, your pets, and your property.
Flea vs Tick: Parasite Fight Night
Fleas and ticks both feed on your blood, but they do it in different ways. While fleas either live on their hosts or in their bedding and living areas, ticks are more opportunists, dropping onto or climbing up their hosts to embed themselves in their skin to feed. Ticks drop off their host after they finish their meal, while fleas will stick around long after they’ve worn out their welcome. With pets, fleas may breed right in their fur, laying eggs, living, and dying for generations if left untreated. They have a harder time doing this on hairless humans, but that doesn’t mean they won’t live in your bed, on your carpet, on your couch, or anywhere else you frequent regularly.
It’s easier to wind up with fleas on your property, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods with ticks. If you or your pet bring a couple of ticks onto your property, they could start to breed, and then you’ll wind up finding a tick on you every time you go outside. This could expose you to a host of deadly diseases, such as:
- Lyme Disease: This bacterial infection initially starts with a bullseye-shaped rash around the site of the bite and can quickly escalate to fever, chills, headache, and other symptoms. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the joints, nervous system, cardiac system, and brain.
- Powassan Virus: There’s been a recent uptick in reported cases of this virus, and while it’s still rare, you don’t want to get it because there’s no treatment and no cure. The only way to avoid contracting it is to avoid ticks. Symptoms include fever, headache, general weakness, and vomiting. In more severe cases, this disease can cause confusion, speech impediment, loss of coordination, and seizures.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF): Another tick-borne bacterial disease, the symptoms of RMSF can seem similar to Lyme disease. You might experience fever, headache, rash, and gastrointestinal distress. Also like Lyme disease, RMSF can be deadly without medical intervention.
Flea And Tick Prevention
While fleas don’t put you in the same danger of disease as ticks, you don’t want either of these parasitic pests on your property. You’ll need to take measures to avoid either you or your pets becoming a vector for fleas and ticks. Do things like:
- Treat dogs and cats for fleas and ticks regularly.
- Wear protective clothing and DEET when in wilderness areas where ticks are common.
- Get rid of wildlife such as squirrels and raccoons that can bring fleas and ticks with them.
If you find yourself at the business end of an infestation despite your best efforts, never fear. Here at GreenForce Pest Solutions, we offer a free inspection to determine where your trouble spots are and what the best course of action is for your specific situation to not only eliminate pests on your property but also ensure they never come back. So give us a call at (832) 789-4163 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today!