About Fleas & Ticks

Flea Under Magnifying Glass

Fleas and ticks are quite different in appearance, but have similar behavior and treatment. A flea is typically associated with our pets or other outdoor animals, but just like ticks, they can hitch a ride on our clothes, in our hair and in furniture. A flea is a wingless insect, jumping 100 times their own height or eight inches vertically and up to sixteen inches horizontally. Fleas are smaller than ticks, almost invisible to the naked eye with tube-like bodies 1/16 up to an 1/8-inch long.

Tick Under Magnifying GlassTicks are often associated with heavily wooded areas. Although West Texas isn’t known for our trees, they do easily live in brush and grassy fields and survive off mule deer, livestock and other wild mammals. Ticks are arachnids with eight legs, and can be black, brown or red. Larvae, nymphs and adults all feed on humans, the blood of mammals, birds and even reptiles and amphibians. Ticks can grow to be ¼-inch long.

Behavior & Risks

Fleas and ticks are both parasites and vectors. They both feed on humans, our pets and livestock blood and carry a host of diseases including bubonic plague, tularemia, tapeworm, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and more. Texas has our own species of tick, the lone star tick. The American tick and brown dog tick are other common species in West Texas, and all species carry harmful diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

Summer is the time of year fleas are most common. Ticks on the other hand can withstand freezing temperatures and could bite in any season.

Cat Scratching Fleas and Ticks

Identifying a Problem

Both ticks and fleas are difficult to identify. Fleas rapidly multiply and infestations are common, with one host supporting hundreds of fleas. The easiest symptom to experience is an inching sensation or red bumps from flea bites. If your cat or dog is constantly itching, the culprit is most likely fleas. Treating the host is necessary to stop the spread of fleas to other pets or humans.

Ticks are harder to kill and identify. Their bites, like bed bugs, are painless and not easy to detect. Most ticks are found during a deliberate inspection, or when a tick’s body is engorged with blood and already feeding. Ticks crawl up to our head, where they can hide in hair, making it difficult to see with the eye. Like kissing bugs, ticks don’t travel in pairs. Even one tick is cause for alarm. Tweezers can be used to carefully remove a feeding tick like a splinter. Their hard bodies are difficult to crush, but can be crushed on a hard surface, burned or drowned.

Ticks

Prevention and Treatment

Take DIY precautions against ticks and fleas, especially when spending time outdoors or when coming into contact with wild or outdoor animals. Within 24 hours, a feeding tick can transmit an infection. Check for ticks in the shower, and ruffle your children’s hair to feel for ticks. Routinely check your pets and livestock for fleas/ticks and use veterinarian approved protection.

Bug Tech can help prevent the risk of fleas and ticks with general pest control treatment. If you are calling for treatment after finding a tick, secure it and allow our team to identify the species and any disease risks.

For indoor treatment, required for fleas and ticks that travel on hosts in the home, our team will apply chemical treatment. It’s an aerosol spray that will be applied to all carpeted and upholstered areas. You will be required to leave the home for three hours. A special chemical residual will be applied to entry ways into the home and pet bedding.

Outdoors, Bug Tech will treat the yard with a targeted flea and tick chemical spray. For small yards we will use a backpack sprayer. For multi-acre properties, a power blower applicator is more efficient.

Contact Bug Tech if you are seeking treatment for large ranch properties with livestock. We can give you a free quote and apply treatment that won’t affect the food source of your livelihood and prevent flea and tick problems.