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Understanding Fleas and Ticks

Can you imagine having hundreds of uninvited guests? No? How about hundreds of uninvited guests that make you or your pet itch constantly? Fleas and ticks in the home can be uncomfortable, spread disease and are just plain difficult for both pets and people alike. Many South Florida pet owners will tell you that there is almost nothing worse than having fleas and ticks in the home.

Fleas:

Fleas are reddish brown in color and are wingless. If you've ever picked a flea off a dog, then you probably know that fleas have a hard, polished body. Fleas are tiny and measure only about 1/6 of an inch. Fleas jump fast and far – almost 7 inches vertically and 14 inches horizontally. Whether they're leaping from the dog to the floor, or from the floor to your skin, they can easily use their long legs to jump from place to place.

Fleas utilize their mouths to suck blood from their hosts – which are all too often your cat or dog. Signs that your pet is suffering from fleas include; itching or biting themselves, biting themselves and then rolling along the floor to "scratch" themselves on a persistent basis. Adult flea feces usually consist of dried blood from the host; the feces droppings are the size and shape of black pepper. Sometimes, you'll be able to see a pile of this "black pepper" in places where your pet regularly sits or sleeps. Fleas often "hitch a ride" on pets who bring them into the home from the outside. Learn more about fleas »

Ticks:

There are two groups of ticks: the hard and the soft ticks. They have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and they range from 1/8 to 5/8 of an inch in size. The kinds of ticks that often bother dogs are the hard ticks which feed on the blood of mammals. Surprisingly, they're not technically insects, but are arachnids, more closely resembling spiders and mites. Ticks commonly live in areas with high levels of humidity, and they "quest" – look for a chance to climb onto a potential host, usually your pet or even you. Ticks can carry many diseases, including Canine Tick Paralysis and Lyme disease. When going out in the woods or other outdoor areas where ticks may live, be sure to tuck pants into socks or boots, and try to avoid walking dogs in tall grass where ticks may live. Learn more about ticks »

Preventing Fleas and Ticks at Home:

Preventing fleas and ticks in the home is key for an itch-free and disease free Florida existence. Since fleas and ticks are active all year round in Florida, check your pets' coats regularly, especially when they've played outside. Bathe pets after outdoor playtime or contact with other pets. Wash pet bedding, pet toys, and your own bedding regularly. Contact your pets vet if you suspect they have fleas or ticks and be sure to take them in for regular checkups.

Do you think you've got fleas and ticks in the home? Just Call Hulett today!

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