Encountering fleas and ticks can really put a damper on our summer fun. A bite from these pests can be irritating and sometimes painful, also leading to many issues later. Here’s what you need to know about flea and tick bites.
Flea bites are small, red bumps with a small halo appearing in a sequence of three to four bites. While pet owners are at a bigger risk of a flea infestation, wild or stray animals can also bring fleas into your yard. For humans, flea bites can be irritating, and cause increased scratching. Excessive scratching can break the skin and cause secondary infections from the bacteria. For pets, flea bites can lead to severe dermatitis from a flea allergy and the possibility of tapeworm and anemia transmission. While bites will usually go away on their own, utilizing calamine lotion can help with the itch.
In North Carolina, there are several tick species that you could come across, including the American dog tick, lone star tick, and brown dog tick. Ticks rely on tall grass to find their host, often positioning themselves at the very top of a blade of grass. Once a host passes, ticks will bite and attach to the skin. If you and your family will be spending time outdoors for a long time, it’s essential to inspect yourself and your family for these pests. If you find that a tick has latched on, remove it within 24 hours as it reduces the chances of being exposed to tock-borne illness, like Lyme disease. When removing the tick, do not grasp the body but instead use tweezers to firmly grasp the head and pull in a straight outward motion.
Preventing Fleas & Ticks
- Keep your lawn cut low and maintained
- Regularly bathe and treat pets with preventative treatments year-round
- If going to a heavily wooded area, wear long pants or high, light-colored socks
- Remove woodpiles from around your home
- Before going outside, utilize insect repellent containing DEET
If you’ve noticed that your pets, family members, or yourself have gotten a flea or tick bite more times than you’re comfortable with, consider reaching out to your local pest control company. These professionals will conduct a thorough inspection of your property and provide you with a comprehensive pest control and prevention plan.