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Do you have a fluffy family member? If so, you know that fleas and ticks can present a threat. It is likely that you've taken steps to protect your pet, such as purchasing a collar that repels and kills fleas and ticks. But collars will not provide complete protection. Here are a few things you should understand about these two pests that can harm your pets.

Why Fleas And Ticks Are Dangerous

The list of diseases that can be spread by fleas and ticks is quite long, and documented cases are on the rise. Some of the many diseases to be concerned about are Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, anaplasmosis, B. miyamotoi disease, babesiosis, Powassan virus, colorado tick fever, southern tick-associated rash illness, murine typhus, bartonellosis, tungiasis, tapeworm, and the bubonic plague. Yes, that's still a thing. While few people die from the plague, it is still around, and it can make you very sick. That leads us to a second point about flea and tick illness, some diseases impact humans and can be deadly, or at least lead to chronic illness. You should always address flea and tick infestations quickly and with effective control methods.

Prevention

Before ticks get on your pets or into your home, there are many things you can do to stop them. Some of the prevention methods are considered personal protection. Most of them safeguard against tick exposure. Here are some examples:

  • Collars for your pets are an obvious first step.

  • Avoid tall grass.

  • Wear bright colors so you can see ticks crawling up.

  • Apply bug spray to your legs and feet when you'll be out in nature.

  • Check for ticks when you come in from going outside.

  • Learn how to properly remove a tick.

  • Inspect your pet for fleas and ticks by using a comb.

Wildlife Connection

Fleas don't hop into your yard, and ticks don't crawl into your yard. Both of these types of bugs are carried by wild animals, big and small. If you understand this, you can reduce the number of fleas and ticks in your yard and protect your pet. Here are some examples of wildlife management:

  • Keep trash in sealed and secure receptacles.

  • Remove standing water around your home.

  • Install fencing around food sources or harborage options.

  • Move bird feeders to at least twenty feet from your exterior.

  • Refrain from feeding your pets outside.

  • Keep dog droppings picked up (these are food for rats).

  • Keep your grass cut and your landscape vegetation trimmed.

  • Remove unnecessary vegetation.

  • Pick up any lawn clutter to remove harborage options for mice and rats.

  • Install lights with motion detectors to scare animals away.

Address Entry Points

There are many animals that carry fleas and ticks into your yard, but some will bring them into your home. On occasion, raccoons or squirrels will get into attic spaces, but the greater concern is mice and rats getting into your home. These rodents are not content to stay in your attic. They'll explore many areas inside your home and spread fleas and ticks around. It is important to take steps to exclude them from your home. Here are some examples of rodent exclusions:

  • Use a caulking gun to fill in holes created in wood by wood-destroying pests, and seal gaps around pipes.

  • Use metal flashing to bolster vulnerable areas of wood.

  • Make sure you have a good seal all the way around your exterior doors and windows.

  • Replace damaged screens (mostly so you'll be able to detect when mice or rats chew through).

  • Screens aren't much of a prevention for these animals, but they help with monitoring rodent pressures, and could allow you to detect trouble before a rodent chews through your window or door frames.

  • Replace damaged vent covers.

  • Apply protective covers over weep holes if your home has them.

Don't Go It Alone

The best way to keep rodents, fleas, and ticks out of your home is to invest in a residential pest control program that gives coverage for these pests. A good pest program will reduce ticks and fleas around your home so that your pets don't pick them up. It also works to address mice and rats before they get in. If you'd like to know how All-Safe Pest & Termite can give you the coverage you need for your Plano home, connect with us today. Protecting health and property from pests is what we specialize in. 

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