When people think of flea and tick problems, they typically associate them with having pets in the house. While owning a cat or dog that spends time outdoors increases your risk of bringing fleas and ticks indoors, you don’t need pets to get this kind of pest infestation.
How Do Homes Without Pets Get Fleas and Ticks?
Even if you don’t have a single pet on your property, other animals may be visiting outside of your knowledge. At any point, your yard might be visited by stray cats and dogs, feral rodents, squirrels, birds, bats, raccoons, and opossums. Any of these animals can be hosts for fleas and ticks.
Ticks attach to a person or animal to acquire a blood meal. How long the tick feeds depends on its stage of life, so the time a tick stays attached to its host can range from 10 minutes to multiple weeks. Once the tick is done feeding, it drops off of its host and prepares for its next life stage and its next meal. Depending on where the tick drops off, this could very well be in your backyard.
Fleas are also a type of pest that feeds on blood. They attach to their hosts and typically consume a blood meal while the person or animal is sleeping. From there, they can easily jump away into a new hiding place. Outdoors, this could be bushes or grass. Indoors, fleas will hide in places like carpeting or gaps in cushions or floorboards.
Where Do Fleas and Ticks Come From In the Wild?
Fleas and ticks cannot fly, so they will wait in places where animals are likely to spend some time or “high-traffic” areas where a lot of animals pass through. These areas include:
- Areas with tall grass, shrubs, and bushes. Ticks will wait on the tips of tall grass to latch onto an animal that brushes by. Fleas are able to jump onto their hosts while hiding in grassy areas.
- Vegetation in transitional spaces. A transitional space is usually a boundary between two different areas, like the edge of a wooded area or where a mowed lawn transitions into a grassy field.
- Dens and nests. This is an easy location for fleas and ticks to latch onto animals, especially while they are asleep.
Even if fleas and ticks start off far away from your home, they can end up spreading on your property if they attach to animals who visit. For this reason, make sure to keep your grass cut short and your landscaping trimmed back. It’s also a good idea to take care of any rodent or wildlife problems that could introduce fleas and ticks to your home.
At Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc., we provide effective tick, flea, and mosquito control backed by 30 years of experience. Give us a call today at (800) 615-3920 or contact us online to get these pests off your property.