Fleas and Ticks Pest Control
Color: Fleas and ticks are usually brown, but can range from reddish to black.
Characteristics: Fleas and ticks typically prefer high humidity and warm temperatures. They are known as parasites that infest the fur and feathers of pets and wild animals and make them miserable by consuming their blood. They can carry a variety of diseases, including Lyme disease, which can cause an array of physical ailments and nervous system disorders. Ticks are most commonly known to transmit this disease, while fleas are often associated with the black plague. Although they are more widely seen on pets, they also pose a risk to humans.
Size: 3 to 5 millimeters
Potentially Dangerous: Yes
Description: Fleas are flightless insects, and ticks are arachnids, meaning that, among other differences, fleas have six legs, and ticks have eight. Each of these parasites feeds on the blood of mammals and birds, and ticks sometimes feed on amphibians and reptiles. Both are found around the world and can live indoors or outdoors. Ticks require a certain level of moisture in the air around them, as they need it to undergo metamorphosis. Flea bites are similar to mosquito bites, and they often cause their host to scratch, pick, or bite at themselves to try to get rid of the pests.
There are 2,500 species of fleas around the world that live by consuming blood from their hosts. They have narrow bodies, which allow them to move easily through the fur or feathers on their host’s body. Another feature they have adapted for this purpose is the hard plates on their bodies, covered with hairs and short spines. They don’t have wings, but some can leap distances as great as 50 times the length of their bodies. Their strong claws allow them to attach to their host, while their mouths are equipped to pierce the skin and draw blood. While some species don’t have eyes, most have simple eye spots with a biconvex lens, unlike the compound eyes that many other insects have. Their bodies have also adapted to be tough and pressure-resistant to survive scratching. In addition to carrying disease, fleas often cause severe skin irritation and infection in pets due to the itching and scratching they cause.
Ticks live in warm and humid areas all around the world. There are two primary types of ticks, which are commonly known as “hard ticks” and “soft ticks.” Being arachnids, ticks have eight legs, and typically have pear-shaped, or ovoid, bodies. When they feed on their host, their bodies become engorged with blood. Hard ticks have a shield on their dorsal surface and a structure similar to a beak, which shields their mouthparts. Soft ticks are different in that they have their mouthparts on the underside of their bodies. Ticks have an impressive ability to locate their host by odors that occur due to changes in the environment. Ticks are known to carry and transmit diseases through the blood that they ingest.