Dogs are best companions and friends in many families in Singapore, and pets have been a popular lifestyle activity. However, this may also indicate some risks in contracting ticks and fleas, making your dearest pets sick and infected from these pest or insects.
Rentokil Singapore shares a guide on how ticks and fleas come about, what control solutions can pet owner’s consider and applying useful ticks and fleas preventive tips.
- Understanding more about ticks and fleas
- Types of ticks species
- Common Flea species
- The difference between a tick and flea?
- Causes of ticks and fleas
- What attracts ticks and fleas to a home?
- What do ticks eat?
- Signs of ticks and fleas infestation
- What diseases do ticks transmit
- How to get rid of ticks?
- Pest control for ticks and fleas
- Pest control cost in eliminating ticks and fleas
- Useful ticks prevention tips
Understanding more about ticks and fleas
Ticks are actually small arachnids that bites pets or humans for blood meal. While there are other pests that similarly seeks blood as food source, ticks transmit diseases and often highly associated dogs and cats. Ticks are commonly mistaken for insects. They hang around shrubs, grass patches, trees and woody or shady area.
Types of ticks’ species
There are two classification of ticks ‘species, namely the soft and hard ticks. In fact, they do not jump or fly around, but they crawl and latch onto our pets or us.
- Hard ticks feed for hours or up to days, and have a “plate” on their back. Their mouthparts are also visible
- Soft ticks typically feed an hour or less, have a wrinkled body and their mouthparts are located at the underside of their body
Common Fleas Species
We probably have heard of fleas such as cat, dog or even human fleas. With so many types of fleas’ species out there, probably these common ones are bothering us. Similarly, they attach to a host for blood; however, they are good jumpers as well. Do you know how high can a flea jump? They can jump 18 cm upwards and 33 cm horizontally!
- Cat fleas: Oval in shape, very small in size and are challenging to spot
- Dog fleas: Reddish-brown in colour, their body is flat and similarly to that of a bed bug
Comparison between a tick and flea
Some pests are mistaken for their similar appearance, and this is the case for ticks and fleas. Exactly, how do ticks and fleas look like? Besides the difference in colour and its tiny size, here is a difference and comparison between ticks and fleas.
|Have six to 8 legs and crawl around||Come with six legs and are good jumpers|
|Source for multiple hosts||Typically seeks for one host, usually dog or cat|
|Up to three years of lifespan||Two to three months of lifespan|
|Latch on hosts||Tend to multiply and infect a home|
|Causes diseases such as Rocky Mountain fever and Lyme Disease||Causes skin diseases such as allergy and Tapeworms|
Causes of ticks and fleas infestation?
Ticks favour the warm and moist environment such as within the fur of your pets. They commonly get into contact with the fleas found outdoor during their stroll or among other infested pets. Other latching opportunities to explain how do pets get ticks include:
- Transferring from humans (socks, legs) to the pet
- During a visit to a veterinary clinic
- Garden and parks
- Board homes or kennels
- Grooming parlours
- Play time with other pets
What will attracts ticks and fleas?
A cross infestation-nature like pests, they are easily brought into a home from outdoor activities, either through your body or your pets. They like to hitch on parts of your body including groin, under arms, within your hair, knee area or within your pets’ fur. Due to its reproduction nature, they would lay their eggs and infest around the home. Some common hot spots includes
- Carpets or rugs
- Areas that are warm and moist
Where do ticks live? They live near host where they seek warm environment with presence of moisture. Besides the external source, ticks are in a way, found in homes.
What do ticks eat?
Ticks feed on blood, similarly to Aedes Mosquitoes and Bed Bugs. It utilises its mouthparts to bite on the skin of the pets or ours, inserts a feeding tube and feeds on the blood for survival. Symptoms of a tick bite may be less obvious or quick to take notice because it does not hurt as they latch and feeds on. Do ticks and fleas bite human? Yes, they do latch and feed on humans. Similarly, they can cause red skin irritation and potentially transmit diseases to humans as well.
Signs of ticks and fleas infestation
One of the easiest and first step to detect signs of ticks’ infestation is the physical presence of ticks lying around the home or on your pets. You may also keep a lookout for other signs including:
- Family members suffering tick-borne diseases such as fever, chills, headache, body aches, nausea
- Experiencing skin infection or rash
- Presence of bites that has pain or swell around the bitten point
- Burning feeling or sensation
- Developing blister
- Increase scratching frequency of your dog and display unusual symptoms.
What diseases do ticks and fleas transmit?
Besides biting and feeding on our pets or on ourselves that causes rash and itchy swells, these unwanted pests cause diseases such as:
- Often caused when there is an accidental ingestion of these parasites
- Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains
- Spot presence of worms in the stool in some cases
- Dogs would experience symptoms such as loss of appetite, rashes, joint pain, fever and swelling
- Difficulty in breathing in some cases
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- This bacterial disease causes signs such as fever, headache, chills and muscle ache
- May cause confusion
- Develops red but non-itch rash
How to get rid of ticks?
As harmful as they may sound, what are tick removal techniques we can adopt to get rid of ticks? Some natural ticks and fleas treatment pet owners can consider includes:
- Early detection is a key to getting rid of ticks early. Using a comb to filter off ticks that is latching on your dog can do some useful trick
- Essential oil is one of the most commonly used pest elimination remedy. To name a few, lavender, lemongrass and peppermint oil can help deter these ticks away. Find out how these essential oils helps deterring other pests as well.
- Spices and condiments such as garlic and vinegar are another home ingredients favourite in pest repel.
- Shower and bath your dog helps in removing ticks. Ticks do not work well with water.
- Good housekeeping not only helps remove physical ticks that can reproduce but provide lesser hiding opportunities for them to go unnoticed.
- Use a dog repellent, spray or power found off-the-shelve shops
Pest control for ticks and fleas
When these ticks treatment home remedy does not work, perhaps it is time to engage professional pest control companies to rid ticks effectively. A treatment typically involves an initial site survey to access the infestation level, area to treat, type of species identified. In addition, the specialist will recommend frequencies and type of treatments. A good and credible pest control specialist will value add monitoring and reporting.
Pest control price for ticks treatment
Price of pest control depends on a few factors. Besides the type of solutions used number of treatments and extend of the area, there are other intangible factors including the credibility and reputation of the company, service quality rendered and after sales service support. Generally, it can be made affordable and value for money. Discuss with a trustworthy pest controller to design a desirable solution.
Useful ticks prevention tips to adopt
Like how parents always advice, prevention is better than cure. Here are some useful tips you can adopt, to take care of your dog’s safety and wellbeing
- Apply insect repellent when you are in outdoors
- Keep your home dry as ticks favour moisture
- Detection and inspection is an important preventive step. Spot for any possible ticks or fleas latching on your pets
- Vacuum the ticks commonly found hotspots, for instance carpet, rugs, curtains, sofa.
- ash your pets bedding and home regularly
- Make use of the teeth within a comb to comb away any ticks on the fur
- Observe your pets for unusual behaviour, such as excessive scratching or feeling lethargic.
- Consider grassy and shrubby areas if possible
Call Rentokil Pest Control at 6347 8138 for a ticks and fleas control solution today.