Tick & Flea

Tick & Flea Application
4 applications per year are required for year round protection (April/May/July/September).
• Whole yard is sprayed, more attention being applied near trees.
• Just needs 1 hour to dry.
• The insecticide used, works for many insects, even the turf destroying chinch bugs!

TICKS THAT CARRY LYME DISEASE

Deer (Black Legged) Tick: 

                     Female                                            Male                                  Nymph

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Lone Star Tick

                                    Female                                                    Male                                   Nymph

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Common Dog Tick

                                       Female                                              Male                                        Nymph

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TICK FACTS

• Female and nymph ticks feed, which is how they may transmit diseases.
• Male deer ticks do not feed, not transmitting diseases.  Males do attach to hosts, but blood isn’t     required for egg production.
• Removing a tick within 24 hours greatly reduces the likelihood of Lyme disease transmission.
• Not all ticks are infected, on average, 20-50% of ticks are able to transmit diseases.
• More than 70% of Lyme disease cases is caused by ticks in the nymph stage.

Once tick eggs hatch in late spring, ticks goes through 3 stages of life: larva, nymph, and adult. Every stage feeds only once and a different host is required each time. Most ticks take 2 years to complete their life cycle.

As long as temperatures are above freezing, ticks are active the entire year. Peak activity months are May to June (nymphs), October\November and again in April (adults).

Dense woods with shrubs and small trees is the preferred habitat. They may flock to that type of areas, but they are also common along the edge of woods, fields or landscaped beds. Ticks prefer the cool, moist woodlands where they have a better chance of finding an animal host. What may cause ticks to invade residential properties are:

• Yard surrounded by dense woods
• Bird baths, bird feeders
• Outdoor pets that come indoors
• Woodpiles, brush piles, rock walls
• Deer in the yard

Many of these factors encourage wildlife near the home and these animals may carry ticks. Mice are common hosts of ticks.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A FLEA

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Fleas are wingless and have mouthparts made for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living off the blood of mammals and birds.

Fleas are 1/16 – 1/8 of an inch long, that are agile, usually dark in color, with tube-like mouth parts adapted to feeding on their hosts. Their legs are long, good for jumping. A flea can jump vertically up to 7 inches and horizontally up to 13 inches.  In respect to their size, Michael Jordan doesn’t even compare to how high or far they can jump!  Their bodies are slim, allowing them to easily pass through hairs, feathers, or clothing of their host.  Their hard body makes squeezing a flea between your fingers difficult to kill.

Fleas have 4 life stages; egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  Adult fleas must feed on blood before they can reproduce. Flea populations are usually 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae, and 5% adults.

The flea life cycle begins when the female lays eggs after feeding. These eggs are tiny, white, oval-shaped, that are easier to see through a magnifying glass. The female flea lays eggs batches of up to 20 or so and can easily roll off the host.  This will make the location where the host will rest a popular spot for fleas. The eggs take 2 days – 2 weeks to hatch. The larvae feed on various organic matter, often feces of mature fleas. The larvae are blind and avoid sunlight, keeping to dark places such as sand, cracks and crevices, and bedding a popular place for them to reside.  After 3 larval stages, 1 – 2 weeks later comes the pupa phase.  In this phase the flea will be enclosed in a silken, debris-covered cocoon. After another week or two the adult fleas are fully developed.  Over the winter, fleas tend to be larval or pupa stages.

At this point, the goal is to find blood and then reproduce. Female fleas can lay 5,000 or more eggs over their life. Under ideal conditions, their total life can span 1 – 1.5 years. On Average, an adult flea only lives for 2 – 3 months. Without a host for food, a flea may only survive a few days.