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Friday, May 1, 2020

Flea and Tick Populations Continue to Rise

In recognition of National Pet Month, Hughes Exterminators Shares Five Steps That Can Help Prevent Flea and Tick Infestations

Plenty of pests pose health risks to humans, but there are also those that can be harmful for the four-legged family members as well. Hughes Exterminators warns that summer is prime season for ticks and fleas, which pose serious health risks to pets. Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases, so it is important that pet owners take precautionary steps to prevent flea and tick infestations. “Fleas and ticks are especially problematic in the warmer months and experts are actually predicting a banner year for tick infestations. Time spent playing outside with pets or walking in the woods or in tall grassy can put pets at risk for picking up these pests,” said Scot Hodges, Hughes pest expert. “It's important to carefully check pets frequently throughout the season.”

To help homeowners protect their families and pets this summer and in recognition of National Pet Month, Hughes Exterminators has prepared a list of five important precautions to prevent an infestation.

  1. Keep outdoor play areas and lawns groomed and clear of brush, grass clippings, woodpiles and leaf debris.  These are ideal havens for rodents such as mice and rats which are renowned carriers of fleas and ticks.  
  2. Bathe and groom pets often and visit a veterinarian for professional flea and tick treatments.  Also, inspect them daily, especially the front shoulders, back and ears.  Fleas are notorious hitchhikers and with the ability to jump more than 200 times their body length, it is extremely easy for them to catch a ride on a pet and into a home.
  3. Vacuum frequently.  This will help remove fleas and prevent the laying of eggs.  It’s important to remember that fleas are not only fantastic hitchhikers, but also professional escape artists. “After vacuuming, immediately dispose of the bag,” said Scot Hodges, Hughes VP of Professional Development.
  4. When outside, in areas where ticks are common, it’s important to dress properly.  Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and if possible, wear clothing light in color so ticks are easier to detect. Also, use a tick repellant containing DEET or Permethrin and when returning indoors, inspect clothing and skin and pets for ticks, especially the head and behind the ears.

If a flea or tick infestation is suspected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately to eradicate the problem.