How to Protect Your Sykesville Area Home From Fleas & Ticks

tick on a blade of grass

It’s July in Maryland, and summer is in full force. Now that things are opening up again, the Sykesville area is filled with fun activities, including parades, block parties, and outdoor concerts. At home, most residents are celebrating with barbecues and backyard fun. Is there anything better than the smell of your grill or marshmallows roasted over a campfire?

While life is slowly getting back to normal, insects such as fleas and ticks are hard at work trying to throw a wrench back into our plans. Our hot and humid weather means fleas and ticks are out in full swing, targeting their next victim.

Before you allow it to become you or your beloved pet, learn how to identify them, what attracts them, and what you can do to help keep them at bay.

How To Identify Fleas and Ticks

Flea Identification
Fleas are typically seen on pets or around our homes brought in by our pets. They are reddish-brown, wingless, with narrow bodies no bigger than 1/6 of an inch long.  Thin and flat, they are hairy and have six long legs. Their flat bodies allow for easy movement while the hair enables them to cling to their host, primarily your beloved fur animals.

Flea eggs are small and white and often mistaken for pet dander. Sometimes, you may see the residue of fleas on your pet before you find the fleas themselves. Using a flea comb, you may find small dark particles after brushing. This is known as “flea dirt,” but it’s really their poop.

Tick Identification
Ticks are flat and oval in appearance, with no wings. They come in a variety of colors, including grayish-white, brown, black, reddish-brown, or yellowish. Adult ticks have eight legs, but tick larvae have six. Once they become an adult, they are approximately one-eighth of an inch.

Why Are Fleas and Ticks so Dangerous?

Danger of Ticks
By now, most of us know that fleas and ticks carry harmful diseases that can affect both you and your pets. Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a variety of lesser-known illnesses. They can also irritate both your dog and cat, hopping onto your pet as they walk through an area of shrubs or tall grass and latching on for their next blood meal.

Danger of Fleas
Fleas prefer the blood of your pets rather than humans, so they’re more likely to bite your animals. However, once fleas travel inside your home via your pet, a flea infestation can easily take over and become a nightmare for your home. A female flea can produce up to 2,000 eggs in one lifetime, making them quite the challenge to rid your home or business of once they get in. Fleas can carry tapeworms, and some pets can develop an allergic reaction to their saliva, causing red, itchy rashes and irritated skin.

Breeding of Fleas and Ticks

Both fleas and ticks thrive in dark, shaded areas including in the woods, around trees, and tall grassy areas. The most common places you’ll find them in your backyard are:

  • Treehouses
  • Playscapes
  • Tall grasses – both ornamental grass and unmowed turfgrass
  • Under structures like decks and porches
  • Shaded areas of your lawn

Tips on Keeping Your Sykesville Area Home Flea and Tick-Free

Keep Your Lawn Well-Maintained
Because fleas and ticks like to hide amongst the tall grass, trees, and shrubs, it’s essential to keep your yard as neat and clean as possible. This includes keeping your grass cut, your trees and bushes trimmed, and landscape beds cleaned. And because trees and shrubs can harbor insects that can invade your home, including fleas and ticks, keep your trees trimmed and make sure no branches are touching your house. 

Keep Your Property Clean and Unattainable
Fleas and ticks are also attracted to anything that smells of blood, so keep raccoons, deer, and feral cats out of your yard by making sure your trash cans are sealed, keeping your grill covered, and cleaning up any food crumbs left behind.

Always Check Your Clothing
When returning from the woods or any highly shaded area, always inspect your clothing for any sign of fleas and ticks. Wear light-colored clothing so that they are easier to spot when you return. Also, look closely at your scalp and hair, as these critters are proficient at finding places to hide. Check all areas of your skin, including your back and elbows, and don’t forget those hard-to-see places, such as behind your ears.

Get Professional Flea and Tick Control From American Lawn and Tree Specialists

Let’s face it, fleas and ticks are just plain annoying. Protect your family and pets from these blood-sucking parasites with American Lawn and Tree Specialists specializing Flea and Tick Control. We will target the area of your property where these bothersome creatures thrive, using a combination of sprays that kill both adult pests and prevent their eggs from hatching. American Lawn and Tree Specialists can kill generations of fleas and ticks in one application.

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