Fleas are tiny‚ wingless insects measuring about 1/6 inch in length and are laterally flattened. Their bodies are shiny and reddish brown in color and are covered with microscopic hair to allow for easy movement through animal fur.
Behavior‚ Diet & Habits
Adults are parasites that draw blood from a host. Larvae feed on organic debris‚ particularly the feces of adult fleas‚ which contain undigested blood. Fleas commonly prefer to feed on hairy animals such as dogs‚ cats‚ rabbits‚ rats‚ mice and other domesticated or wild animals. Although fleas do not have wings‚ they are capable of jumping long distances.
Fleas are ectoparasites of animals‚ meaning they live on the outside of the body and need to feed on the blood of these animals in order to produce eggs. Because fleas usually feed and lay their eggs while the pet is sleeping‚ the pet’s resting areas are where the most fleas will be found. Many pets acquire fleas outside in the yard‚ which can lead to a flea infestation inside the home.
Eggs are not attached to the host. Eggs will hatch on the ground‚ in rugs‚ carpet‚ bedding‚ upholstery or cracks in the floor. Most hatch within two days. One female flea can lay about 18 eggs a day and just 20 fleas on a dog can produce 360 eggs per day and over 2‚000 eggs in a week. After the home is treated‚ it may take up to two weeks or more before fleas are no longer seen. Vacuuming as often as possible after treatment can help shorten this time period.
Do fleas carry disease?
Yes‚ fleas can transmit diseases when taking a blood meal from a host or via contaminated fecal pellets. Some flea–borne diseases include plague‚ flea–borne typhus‚ flea tapeworm and tungiasis.
Tips for Control
Controlling a flea infestation successfully requires four steps:
- Preparation for treatment
- Treatment of pets
- Treatment of the inside premises
- Treatment of flea activity sites outside
Obviously‚ the pet is critical to minimizing flea infestations‚ and regular grooming helps to limit fleas on the pet. For this reason‚ customers need to keep the pet groomed and treated with on-animal flea control products. Consult your veterinarian for assistance in treating your pets for fleas and ticks.
- Step One. Education – explaining the flea’s life cycle and how their habits‚ habitat and behavior affect the control plan and inspecting for the presence of other animals that are the flea population’s source of food.
- Step Two. The homeowner needs to arrange for treating the pet‚ and this should be done at the same time that the home is treated. A number of on–animal treatment products are now available. Treatment of pets should be done under the direction of a veterinarian.
- Step Three. In homes with an active flea infestation‚ The PMPs at The Pest Destructo Co. use the latest flea control products inclusive of a residual treatment combined with an insect growth regulator application. Efforts are focused on the areas where pets rest or sleep‚ as these are the sites where the most fleas will be located.
- Step Four. Outside‚ treatment is typically applied to shaded areas and beneath shrubs and decks where pets rest or sleep. Scheduling of a follow-up visit with your pest management professionals at The Pest Destructo Co. is very important.
Any flea management will be less effective if the home is not prepared properly by completing the following steps:
- Remove all items‚ such as toys‚ clothes and pet food from all floors.
- Wash or replace pet bedding.
- Vacuum all carpets and rugs thoroughly‚ including beneath beds and upholstered furniture.
- Clean all wood‚ tile and linoleum floors by sweeping and mopping.
- Clean concrete floors with soap and water‚ porch or patio where pets rest or stay.
- Remove all pets including birds and reptiles. Cover fish tanks with a damp towel and turn off the air pump.
- Replace any pet bedding outdoors and make all shaded areas available for treatment.
- Arrange to be out of the home for several hours until the treatment has thoroughly dried.
Ticks vary in color by species. Adult ticks can be smaller than a sunflower seed (over 1 cm long if engorged with blood)‚ while tick larvae can be less than 1 mm. Common problem ticks include the American dog tick‚ deer or blacklegged tick and lone star tick.
Behavior‚ Diet & Habits
Often found near wooded and highly vegetated areas. Some species require moisture to survive. Females and males of most species feed on blood of mammals‚ birds and reptiles. Each tick species does have a preferred host‚ although most ticks will feed on whatever blood is available to them. Thus‚ ticks are known to bite livestock‚ deer‚ humans‚ dogs and cats.
There are four stages in a tick’s lifecycle – egg‚ larval‚ nymphal and adult. Ticks have only six legs during their larval stage and eight legs during their nymphal and adult stages. They consume blood meals during all stages. Pathogens‚ or organisms that cause diseases in the animals they infect‚ can be passed through the stages of a tick’s life cycle.
Signs of aTick Infestation
Tick signs usually are the ticks themselves on the pet‚ crawling around the home‚ inside and exterior walls in the evening or throughout the day‚ patio‚ porch etc. Secondary signs can include medical symptoms from diseases or fluids transmitted by ticks. These can vary and are best left to a medical professional for diagnosis.
Prevention / Control
Ticks also seek safety in hidden locations within homes. Repairing any crevices or gaps and keeping grass cut short outside may discourage infestations. The disposal of all empty bird and rodent nesting materials is also necessary‚ as ticks will readily infest these items.
Ticks found on pets or people require cautious and thorough removal. Ticks should be grasped using a gloved hand behind the head by tweezers or forceps which is the most efficient removal technique; and pulled slowly away from the host’s skin. Crushing the tick may lead to the release of further dangerous fluids; which may further expose the victim to harmful bacteria and diseases. It is important that the mouthparts be completely removed from the wound‚ as well. Infected areas should be thoroughly washed and disinfected. If there are medical concerns resulting from a tick or flea bite‚ seek medical attention immediately. Hands should be thoroughly washed after the tick is properly disposed of.
If you suspect a tick infestation‚ call The Pest Destructo Co.
BEES & WASPS
Bees and wasps are commercially valuable and an important part of our ecosystem as pollinators and insect predators‚ but in the wrong place at the wrong time‚ wasps and bees can become a serious pest. If their hive or nest is distrusted‚ bees and wasps become very defensive and will swarm and sting as a means of protection. If you think you may have a bee or wasp infestation‚ The Pest Destructo Co. can help you first determine whether you’re actually dealing with wasps or bees and liaise with an apiarist to have the bees safely and effectively removed.
Weevils are actually beetles that occur in a wide range of colors and body shapes. They range in size from about 3 mm to over 10 mm in length and are usually brownish to black in color. Some have scales or shiny hairs covering part of their bodies. The most distinctive feature of weevils is the shape of their head. An adult weevil has an elongated head that forms a snout. The mouth is at the end of the snout.
Weevils feed on plants in the larval stage and as adults. Most weevils are found in fields‚ gardens or orchards‚ while some attack stored grains and seeds. However‚ a few weevils become structural pests. These are the weevils that upset homeowners because they invade homes in the cupboards where grit‚ flour etc‚ are found. They often invade in great numbers during the fall‚ summer and winter‚ then leave in the spring.
Homeowners might not notice weevils when they are gathered on the outside of the home. But if the weevils manage to find an opening and invade the home‚ the homeowner often finds hundreds of insects crawling on the walls and windowsills. Most likely‚ homeowners seeing weevils indoors are dealing with the stored product species. The most important control methods are to find the infested material and eliminate it. Careful inspection of items before purchasing can help prevent getting a new infestation. Products with holes or signs of damage on the packaging should not be purchased.
Behavior‚ Diet & Habits
Millipedes normally live outdoors and thrive in damp places. Around homes they live in flowerbeds and gardens. They can also be found under mulch‚ piles of dead leaves‚ or under piles of grass clippings. Millipedes also live under structures like dog houses and storage sheds. They eat dead leaves and decaying wood particles that they find.
In the fall‚ millipedes often migrate and move out of their normal habitat. Research suggests they may be trying to get ready for winter. However‚ millipedes have also been seen migrating after a heavy rain has flooded their habitat. During these migrations‚ millipedes often find their way into homes.
When they come to a home‚ millipedes gather on porches and patios. They climb the foundation of the home and they often find entryways. They enter through basement doors and windows‚ crawlspace vents‚ and garage doors. They may also hide under furniture or boxes of stored items. As they move around‚ many millipedes move into the living space of the home often in great numbers. Millipedes can enter homes by crawling under doors that have missing weather stripping or through windows that are not tightly sealed when closed.
Millipedes deposit their eggs in the soil. Most species reach sexual maturity in the second year and live several years after that.
Signs of a Millipede Infestation
Other than the sightings of the millipedes‚ there aren’t many distinct signs of their presence.
For more information or to schedule an inspection‚ please call The Pest Destructo Co.
Snakes vary greatly depending on the species. Overall‚ they lack fully developed legs and eyelids. They range from around 10 cm to several meters in length. Many snakes found in the Bahamas such as the Bahamian Boas‚ Brown Racer‚ Pygma Boa‚ Blind Snakes‚ Corn snakes and Thread Snakes are nonvenomous and pose no risk to humans other than fright or a potential secondary infection in a bite. Though many people fear them‚ snakes are a very important part of our ecosystem. They help control pest populations for a variety of animals such as rats. Despite this‚ many people have a deep–seated fear of snakes and don’t want any around their homes.
Snakes are cold–blooded animals‚ which is why they sun in the warmer months and go into hibernation during the colder.
Snakes often mate in the spring. Some species lay eggs‚ while others give birth to live young. The number of offspring varies by species.
Whether snakes already populate your land or there’s a worry they might‚ a couple of steps can help prevent a long–term stay:
Remove as much of their preferred habitat as possible. Snakes like something to hide in like wood piles‚ piles of debris‚ high grass and overgrown vegetation. If such harborage is removed‚ snakes will relocate. Then‚ seal any openings leading into structures.
All snakes should be treated with respect and left alone regardless of venom. Contact a PMP at The Pest Destructo Co. and we will refer you to the Animal Control Unit for safe removal of this pest.