Grooming Your Pets to Avoid Flea Infestation

When you ask pet owners what they despise most about when it comes to their fur babies, more often than not, their response would be fleas.

Have you got a flea problem with your pets? Your best approach in getting rid of them is to intervene with their life cycle. The methods for first defense are actually simple. To control adult fleas, you just need to vacuum and launder regularly, along with constantly grooming and bathing your pets. Read more

dog in a matress

Preventing Fleas in Your Dog and Your Home

If you are a dog owner, you know how susceptible your home can be to ticks and fleas. Your pet is a favourite host of ticks and fleas because your dog’s fur makes it easy for them to hide and feed. If your furry friend is constantly outdoors, fleas may be in the grass and will easily climb on your pet as they walk around.

As they latch on to your dog and begin to feed, fleas will start to grow and lay eggs. An adult flea can lay eggs in large numbers that allow them to multiply quickly if left untreated. More than just a nuisance, this is of course harmful to your pet.

The Dangers of Ticks and Fleas to Your Dog

When ticks and fleas bite the skin, they release allergens that can cause irritation, rashes and itchiness. You may find that your dog is constantly scratching and others have worse flare-ups and allergic reactions. It is important to note, however, that not all dogs experience allergic reactions. Some dogs that are not scratching at all may still be infested with fleas, so checking under your pet’s hair coat should be a routine.

Apart from wounds from bites, your pet may also end up wounding his skin because of continuous scratching. If the infestation is not controlled, these parasites can even endanger the life of a dog.

Tick and Flea Management in Dogs

Lessen the Exposure to Environmental Factors

The more your pet is exposed to grassy areas and the outdoors in general, the higher the risk that it will be infested with fleas. He may also get the fleas from other dogs that he becomes in contact with. The first step you can do is to lessen his exposure to these environmental factors, whenever possible.

Regular Bath

Giving your dog regular baths can help with the treatment of ticks and fleas. For effective removal, anti-flea shampoos can be purchased from pet stores. After bathing your dog, make sure to dry him up and brush his coat gently and thoroughly.

Flea Preventative

There are several types of flea preventative – oral, topical, spray and even collars. You can also talk to your vet for other options or if you are unsure of which one to use for your pet.

Getting Rid of Parasites in Your Home

It’s not only your dog that will suffer from tick and flea infestation. Once the flea begins laying eggs, the eggs can be left on the carpet, rugs, mattresses and other places where your dog loves to lounge. This is where our team at Defence Pest Management can help you. We’ve dealt with different types of pest control in homes, including tick and flea treatment.

We will check all areas of your home, reaching even the corners. The Defence Pest Management team uses various methods for pest detection and treatment, each tailored to the specific needs and requirements of a household, so you can be sure that your home will be free from pests, including flea eggs that are invisible to the naked eye.

tick in the hand

How to Safely Remove Ticks

Although ticks are commonly associated with pets as their hosts, even humans are vulnerable to these blood-sucking creatures. But even if you don’t own a pet, you can be a host to ticks. In fact, at Defence Pest Management, we have had clients who don’t own pets but are still having problems with ticks and fleas.

They can be found in bushes and grassy areas where they can crawl up on your clothes and hide in unexposed areas of your skin. They can then attach themselves on your scalp or armpit and begin to feed.

Diseases that Can Be Caused by Ticks and Tick Bites

While severe conditions, such as tick paralysis, are rare among humans, ticks can still cause illnesses and diseases to their human hosts. Ticks and tick bites can cause skin irritation and allergies, and transmit tick-borne illnesses and infections.

Additionally, if the tick is accidentally crushed, its blood may contain infective agents that can cause skin sensitivity and irritation.

Tips for Removing Ticks

It is almost never safe to remove a tick with bare hands as you run the risk of crushing or squeezing its body. Using your fingers alone may also be ineffective especially when the mouthparts of the tick have burrowed deep in your skin. Pulling the tick carelessly can result in more bleeding and wounding your skin.

One of the most effective and safest ways to remove a tick is by using a removal tool specifically made for ticks. Otherwise, here are some steps you can try:

• Use tweezers to grab and hold the mouthparts of the tick. This is usually located closest to your skin as it feeds on you. As much as possible, use fine-tipped tweezers for easy handling, to securely hold the mouthparts without twisting its body.
• Never hold the tick by its body else it might end up burrowing its mouthparts deeper into your skin, or you can end up crushing its body.
• Gently pull out the tick. You can place it in a small container with water so you can get rid of it without having to crush the body.
• Disinfect the area bitten by the tick, using antiseptic agents and thoroughly wash your hands with soap.
Preventing Ticks

If you have a pet in your home, it is easier to determine if and why you will run a problem with ticks. On the other hand, if there are fleas or ticks in your property, you may not be able to notice it until you find bites or you become their host. However, this can be prevented by avoiding grassy areas, and wearing clothing that prevents your skin from being exposed to ticks.

In your own home, if your property is regularly inspected, then you will not have to worry so much about tick and other pest infestations. In addition, if our team at Defence Pest Management finds any sign of ticks in your home, we will recommend an effective method for their complete and immediate removal.

ticks in a dog's ear

Preventing Ticks From Invading Your Home

You have probably often heard about ticks in pets; however, did you know that humans are also hosts to these pests? That’s right. Ticks can climb on you, find a protected spot and feed by sinking their mouthparts into your skin.

What Are Ticks?

Ticks are bloodsucking parasites that feed on mammals, reptiles and birds. They are arachnids that are mostly found in woody areas and shrubby vegetation, where they patiently wait for a host to approach.

Once they find a host, they immediately attach themselves and start feeding on their host, then drop off once fully fed. However, in many cases, they can feed on the same host several times by simply hiding themselves in cracks and crevices and then crawling back to the host when they need to feed again.

Ticks develop from eggs, to larvae and then nymphs before they mature into adults. Females are larger than males, especially after feeding. Depending on the type of tick, the female can lay several batches of eggs or a single large batch.

How You Acquire Ticks

If you have a pet that goes outdoors, then they are prone to being a host to parasites including ticks. The ticks can then lay eggs, which may also be found in rugs, mattresses or other areas that your pet frequents. The ticks can then cling and feed on you as well.

Ticks can also be transmitted through your clothing. When going outdoors, especially in grassy areas, the ticks can climb on your clothes and hide themselves while searching for a spot on your flesh. This simply means that even without a pet, you can bring home some ticks all by yourself.

In fact, Defence Pest Management has had several property inspections where we have found ticks in a home that does not have a dog, cat or any kind of pet.

Diseases that Come from Ticks

There are several diseases that are transmitted through tick bites (saliva) or excrement. Globally, in areas with poor nutrition, the diseases can include relapsing fever. There are also cases such as Lyme disease, tick paralysis and inflammation of the brain.

The most common disease that arises from exposure to ticks is allergic reactions, which is also perhaps the most common in Australia. When the tick bites the flesh to feed, it injects allergen that causes inflammation in the surrounding area. This will trigger itchiness and swelling.

It is advised that you first kill the tick before removing it, otherwise, it will keep lodging itself into your skin, injecting more allergen.

Preventing Infestations

In general, diseases from ticks are rare in humans. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that you reduce exposure to ticks to avoid any disease. One way is to always clean yourself after staying outdoors, especially in woody or grassy areas. If you own a pet, you should regularly check for any tick infestation.

Keeping your home regularly inspected for pests can also help monitor if there are any ticks in your home, whether or not you have a pet. If you require help with pest inspection, our team at Defence Pest Management can provide treatment methods to specifically address tick and flea infestations in homes.

dirty sandals in a carpet

Flea Infestation in Homes Without Pets

Fleas at home? They are just a pet owner’s problem. This is a common statement our team at Defence Pest Management occasionally hear. Some homeowners think that flea infestation is only possible if you have pets at home and that it isn’t a concern if you don’t own a dog or a cat.

This isn’t necessarily true for everyone, however. Although there is a greater possibility that your home might be infested with fleas if you have a pet, nevertheless, fleas can still invade your property, even without pets as the carrier. In fact, detecting flea infestation in homes without pets can, at times, be more difficult.

Causes of the Infestation

So you don’t have a pet that goes outdoors, sleeps on the rugs or carpet, sits on the couch or jumps into your bed; where do the fleas come from then?

Here are several reasons why you may have fleas at home:

The previous resident was a pet owner

If the previous resident was a pet owner, this is a common scenario if you are renting a place or have just acquired and moved into a new home. Fleas, just like all other pests, can be left behind and can continue to infest a property if undetected and unmanaged. This is one of the reasons why building inspections is a necessary step before acquiring and living in a new property – to help ensure that all issues are addressed before the move.

Among the properties we have inspected, our staff at Defence Pest Management would always come across a few homes that are infested with fleas – whether or not the previous or current owner has a pet.

There are pets in nearby homes

Even if you don’t have your own furry friend, your neighbour could have one that loves to visit your place. Whether they enjoy lounging outside your home or have access indoors, these pets may be a host to fleas that can begin dwelling in your rugs or outdoor furniture.

You have furniture infested with fleas

If you are moving used furniture into your home, perhaps an item you’ve purchased from a garage sale, there is a chance that the furniture has become the home of fleas. It is recommended that as soon as you find out that any furniture or part of your home is infested with fleas, you also have the rest of your home inspected so that control and treatment can be done before the damage becomes worse.

Keeping Your Home Free from Fleas

Although there is a lower chance that your home will be a nesting ground for fleas if you don’t own a pet, regular monitoring is still necessary to completely avoid infestation. During your yearly building inspections, we can help you detect not only infestations of termites, ants, spiders and cockroaches, but also fleas.

homeless cat with fleas

Fleas in your Home

Fleas are external parasites that are shiny and reddish brown in colour. Although they do not have wings, fleas have the ability to jump long distances. Your cat or dog can bring fleas into your home, but so can you. While working in the yard, fleas can jump on you and ride all the way back to your house. When you have pets, maintaining a flea-free home and yard can be quite a challenge. But there are ways to spot them and to get rid of them before a flea infestation takes over your yard and home.

How to Detect Fleas

Fleas crawl on the skin of their hosts. If you notice your cat or dog scratching more than usual, fleas are probably the culprits. You will see fleas running and trying to hide when you part your pet’s fur.

You can use a special flea comb to collect fleas from your pet’s hair. Start combing areas where fleas are usually found, including your pet’s head, near the ears, and near the tail and under the legs. The right way to use a flea comb is to swiftly run it backwards through the hair. Before using a flea comb, you need to be prepared to get rid of the live fleas that will be trapped between the teeth of the comb. Do this by immediately dipping the comb into a bowl with a solution of liquid dish soap dissolved in a small amount of water.

To spot fleas on your body, put on a pair of white knee-high socks and walk around your house. White clothing seems to attract fleas. Plus, fleas’ dark colour makes them easier to spot on a white background.

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Using a special flea comb is not enough to eradicate these annoying parasites completely. Flea infestations should be dealt with by using multifaceted treatment plans, encompassing both chemical and physical methods. The treatment should be applied both to your pets and the inside and outside of your home.

Be vigilant in examining your pets for fleas regularly. Catching fleas early will enable you to take action immediately. If the treatment calls for chemical use, it is best to call for professional help. An expert on fleas will have the training and the right equipment to handle your pest problem. In addition, your termites professional will readily give you advice on ways to prevent fleas from invading your home in the future.

dog

Ticks: A Nuisance to Humans and Animals

Ticks are a pest that many people wrongly refer to as insects. These animals are actually more closely related to arachnids, which include species such as spiders, mites, and scorpions. Ticks can present health hazards to both humans and animals on a couple of levels. Ticks can essentially poison their host, and they can be efficient carriers of infectious diseases. Humans and animals alike may suffer from discomfort and illness after being bitten by a tick. Tick bites can result in allergic reactions, paralysis and even death. While ticks do have the potential to spread various infectious diseases, tick-borne diseases are uncommon to Australia. Nevertheless, ticks are pests that most people want eradicated from their homes and property.

How to Identify a Tick

There are several species of ticks that are common to Australia: the Paralysis Tick and the Brown Dog tick. The body shape of a tick is oval; however, after feeding their body shape will change. Even though ticks are related to arachnids, adult ticks have no antennae, no eyes, and four pairs of legs. The colour, shape, and size of the tick will depend on their species. Ticks cannot fly or jump. Because ticks can only crawl, they are generally found on the lower extremities such as the ankle or lower leg. A pest inspection can help property owners determine if they have a tick infestation on their property or in their home.

The Life Stages of the Tick

A tick will go through four life stages. These stages are: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. Eggs typically hatch in less than 2 months and are usually found in moist surroundings. When the larvae hatch from the egg, they are no more than 1mm in length. After the larvae’s first blood meal, the larvae will moult and become a nymph. Just as the larvae, the nymph also requires a blood meal to moult and become an adult. Adult ticks will be no more than 3.5mm in length. Adults also require a blood meal in order to lay eggs or mate. The tick’s primary food source is the blood from animals such as dogs, cats, and possums.

Eradication of Ticks

Effective pest control for ticks is comprised of two methods: habitat modification and chemicals. Habitat modification entails altering the environment in or surrounding the home in order to make conditions less suitable for tick habitation and survival. Increasing sunlight and decreasing moisture are two ways to make the environment less conducive to tick infestation. Chemical treatments are another way to reduce tick populations. Chemicals may take the form of personal repellents, host treatments, or habitat treatments.

bathing a dog

Treating Flea Infestations in the Home

When a flea infestation occurs in a home, treating this infestation will require more than bathing the family pets with flea treatment and purchasing flea collars. While these steps will be helpful, more serious, involved treatment of the home will be necessary. Treating both the outside and the inside of the home may be in order because the majority of fleas are not found on the family pet.

Removing the family pet from the home will only invite the fleas to bite and feed on the homeowners. Fleas are blood-sucking insects that need a host in order to survive. Individuals may find that they are experiencing itching and irritation around the waist, armpits, or ankles. They may experience bites in the bends of their knees or elbows. Flea bites can cause itching, hives, rash, swelling, and soreness.

Most people are familiar with adult fleas, but they may be unfamiliar with the life cycle of a flea. Adult fleas are the fleas that are typically found on cats and dogs. However, only about 10 percent of fleas are found on the family pet. Approximately 90 percent of the developing flea population is located on the pests bedding and areas near the pets bedding including carpet, furniture not on the pet.

Homeowners wishing to eradicate their flea problems may need professional pest control services. To help homeowners with pest control Brisbane, the following are some interesting and disturbing facts about fleas of which homeowners and pet owners should be aware.

  • Adult fleas lay approximately 50 eggs per day. While fleas lay their eggs on the family pet, the eggs will eventually fall onto the bedding and areas near the pets bedding including carpet, furniture, and any other areas of the home to which the pet has access.
  • When the eggs hatch, the fleas will develop into worm-like larvae. These larvae will remain in the carpet and on the furniture for a period of time.The next stage the flea will enter is the pupae. The pupae will remain in a silk-like cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks.

These reasons are why pest inspection is critical to the health and comfort of the home, its owners, and the family’s pets. Once fleas have been allowed to infest the home, pest control will become necessary. It can help homeowners assess the extent of their flea infestation, and learn about the appropriate course of treatment.

Whether fleas have become an uncomfortable nuisance or a frightening nightmare, Defence Pest Controllers can be of invaluable assistance. Regardless of the extent of the flea problem inside or outside of the home, professional treatment services can eliminate a home’s flea dilemma.

flea

Tips for Getting Rid of Fleas

Having blood sucking fleas in the house or flea eggs lying on your floor waiting to hatch can be a nightmare. Fleas are a common problem in many households and yet, not many people know how to deal with flea infestation in homes. There are several measures that can be taken to get rid of these tiny creatures. While there are many expensive sprays and insecticides available, there are also many economical ways of making your home free of fleas. For better results, it is highly recommended that you call in services of a pest control company so that there is complete eradication of fleas from your home.

The first thing that needs to be done to get rid of the problem of fleas is to find their source. A common way of fleas entering your home is through pets. They often sit on the backs of cats and dogs and make their way in. Fleas are most attracted to pets that are dirty. So, make sure you bathe your pets on a regular basis and take very good care of their oral hygiene. There are also some good flea-removing shampoos that can be suggested by your pest control company that you can use on your pets.

Another important measure that the home owners can take is to keep their house clean. This can be a daunting task but absolutely necessary if you want to get rid of this problem forever. For a complete cleanup, remove all pets from the house, move out all toys and clothing as well as all objects your pets come into contact with – such as food bowls and beds. Once this is done, vacuum the floor thoroughly in order to eliminate the fleas as well as any flea eggs that might have begun to hatch in your carpet. Also, vacuum all other places and items in the house.

If the problem of fleas becomes too large to handle on your own, it is highly recommended that you gain professional help. Termite and pest companies have trained and qualified staff to make a thorough pest inspection and suggest and take appropriate measures to deal with the situation. There are a number of techniques they use depending on how large the problem is. They often use a new technology called ultrasonic pest repellers to clear your house from fleas.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the problem of flea infestation. By using certain measures, quarantine of infested pets, vacuuming, professional steam-cleaning of carpets and curtains, insecticides and services of pest control companies, there can be complete elimination of fleas from homes.