Ticks and Fleas
Facts about Ticks
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➤ Ticks do not have a true head, only mouthparts projecting from the front of the body which they
use to cut a small hole in the host’s skin which the then insert into the host tissues in order to
➤ Favourite hiding places for the various ticks are under window sills, in cracks and crevices, in
grassland and forested areas.
➤ Ticks are a danger to both animals and humans as each specie carries its own dangers. The black legged tick causes paralysis in sheep,
dogs and humans. The yellow dog tick carries the parasite that causes biliary. The brown ear tick causes tick bite fever and viral diseases in
humans and domestic stock and pets.
How do I get rid of ticks?
Your BEST CHOICE will be to contact who will carry out a full inspection of the problem and treat all areas effectively and efficiently.
To remove the tick from the host, first kill it by applying surgical spirits, nail polish remover or methylated spirits to it with an ear bud or cotton wool. After a few moments grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can, and apply steady pressure until it loosens it grip and comes off the host. Do not leave behind any mouthparts as this will cause infection.
FACTS ABOUT FLEAS...
➤ Fleas have blood-sucking mouthparts with which they penetrate the skin of the host and suck blood.
➤ A flea can jump two hundred times the length of their own bodies, which is roughly about 13 inches! If a grown man could jump 200 times
the length of their own bodies, they could jump about 900 feet!
➤ They can also transmit diseases and even the bubonic plague which are carried from rats
➤ A female flea can lay 30 – 50 eggs per day..
➤ Fleas may even occur in homes where there are no pets as they gain entry into homes from wild or domestic animals in nearby areas.
E.g. squirrels, rodents, stray cats or visiting pets. Fleas become a serious problem when the pet is removed from the premises. This is
often why returning vacationers are greeted by a deluge of hungry, blood-sucking fleas.
QUESTIONS ABOUT FLEAS...
Are all fleas the same?
There are 7 important flea species in South Africa. They are:
1. The Cat flea
2. The Dog flea
3. The Human Flea
4. The Rat flea
5. The Rabbit flea
6. The Hedgehog flea
7. The Bird Flea
All the species of the fleas do basically the same damage and have very similar characteristics.
I dont have any pets so why do I have fleas in my house?
Fleas may occur in homes where there are no pets as they gain entry into homes from wild or domestic animals in nearby areas. E.g. Squirrels,
rodents, stray cats or visiting pets. Fleas become a serious problem when the pet is removed and may become hungry when pets are kept
outside or away from the house during vacation. This is often why returning vacationers are greeted by a deluge of hungry, blood-sucking fleas.
Apart from biting humans, what damage do they cause or what (if any) diseases do they carry?
➤ Fleas generally bite around the ankle area and cause small, red welts which can be very itchy.
➤ Some flea species may transmit dog and cat tapeworms to humans if accidentally eaten.
➤ They can also transmit murine typhus, tularaemia and even the bubonic plague which are carried from rats.
How do I know if I have fleas in my premises?
➤ The premises must first be inspected by a Technician to make sure that fleas are the problem. Alternatively, you
can walk around your premises with white socks and place a white towel in the affected area. The fleas will jump onto your white socks
and towel and you will see them easily against the white background. (If you have fleas at work, the best is to ask your boss to walk
around with his white socks on its very effective and more fun!!)
➤ Other clues are complaints from other family members or residents who have acquired a series of red welts on their lower legs.
➤ Outdoor inspection: Fleas are capable of surviving and breeding outdoors during warm months. An inspection outside will reveal
whether outside treatment is necessary.
How do I treat for fleas and eradicate them and keep them away?
If you don’t have a monkey ….
You will have to call Control! Jokes aside, the following process must be followed in order to effectively eliminate these ghastly blood sucking critters:
PLEASE NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT PRIOR TO AND POST TREATMENT!
• Important! Carpets are to be vacuumed prior to treatment and NOT to be vacuumed for 7 days after the treatment
• Once a Technician has inspected your premises, the treatment will include all areas where flea larvae and
adults are to be found.
• All infested debris should be removed; infested bedding of pets should be washed or destroyed by burning.
• After removal of bedding and debris, a fine residual spray will be used as well as a space fumigant.
• We will not only just spray on the floor surface area, but also where any flea eggs might have fallen off as well. So we will spray
carpets, floors, skirting boards, cracks and crevices.
• And not only do we spray on floor surface areas but we will spray under cushions and throw rugs, beneath furniture and in pet
• On top of using the residual spray, we also use a space fumigant. This is not a substitute for residual spray but will be helpful in
control and will result in an immediate reduction of adults.
• No-one should walk on the treated areas until they are completely dry which could be up to 2 hours.
• Regular cleaning (sanitation) will deny the fleas their breeding site
• The house or premises should be vacuumed every day as this will pick up the flea larvae, pupae and adults. Vacuuming will also
pick up debris that the fleas use as food.
• Make sure that the vacuum bad is disposed in a sealed plastic bag or container.
How do I know whether my bites are from fleas and not another creepy crawly?
• Ant and Spider bites leave 2 marks
• Mosquitoes, bees, wasps and bedbugs leave a large swelling or welt
• Flea bites leave a small, hard, red, slightly raised itching spot
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Servicing all Helderberg area, Western Cape, Somerset West, Gordons Bay, Strand, Stellenbosch, Grabouw, Rooi-Els, Pringle Bay, Bettys Bay, Kleinmond, Hermanus.
Entire Vaal Triangle area, Johannesburg South