Fleas are a wingless parasitic species that sucks blood from a variety of mammals. Ticks are actually part of the arachnid family. They also feed off of the blood of mammals and can potentially transfer a number of diseases.
Description of Pest: This species is the most common in the U.S. choosing to host on dogs, cats, and humans. It has the ability to maintain its life cycle as a parasite on both carnivores and omnivores. A flea that has just emerged from its pupal stage with jump to a new host within seconds and begin feeding within minutes. It ranges from 1-2mm in length. The reddish-brown cat flea does bit humans but it is unlikely for a long-term population to be sustained on people.
Description of Pest: Dog fleas closely resemble cat fleas and also have the unfortunate ability to give its a host a tapeworm. The main characteristic that distinguishes a dog flea from a cat flea is its head. The dog flea’s head is rounded near the front whereas the cat flea is elongated. Dogs will experience severe itching in infested areas of the fur or hair where the fleas reside. Problems from fleas can be as lowly as itching to severe as infection. In extreme circumstances it is possible that flea bites can cause anemia.
Description of Pest: Also known as a the tropical rat flea, the oriental rat flea primarily is a parasite of rodents. They are vectors for the bubonic plague which occurs after biting an infected rodent and then transferring it to a human. The oriental rat flea can be distinguished from the previous two due to its lack of genal or pronotal combs. The genal and pronotal combs are the hairlike follicles near the base and rear of the fleas head.
Description of Pest: This thick-bodied tick can be found in areas throughout the U.S. Like all ticks, the Deer tick can be a potential vector for disease for both animals and humans. It derives its name from its propensity of parasitizing white-tailed deer. An engorged tick looks quite different from an unfed tick featured in the picture to the left. After feeding the body will swell and be prominently a gray-blue color.
Description of Pest: The Lone Star Tick is very widespread throughout the U.S. You’ll find this tick mainly populates forests. The Lone Star Ticks, like all ticks, can be a vector for disease. It’s important to note, however, that this particular species of tick is very unlikely to transmit Lyme disease which is commonly associated with ticks. This bite can create an allergy to meat products. The picture to the left features an adult female Lone Star Tick with the prominent lone spot on its back.
Description of Pest: Unlike the Loan Star Tick, the American Dog Tick resides in areas with little to no tree cover. This can include grass fields, trails, and pathways. They can be identified from the other two variations due to their off-white patches on their back. The adults can transmit diseases such as the Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever and Tularemia.