Tag Archives: pets

Just the Flea Facts

Cat FleaThere’s a possibility that the facts found here may leave you feeling itchy, but also more knowledgeable and better equipped to fight off some fleas.

Just the Facts

Did you know that there are thousands of species of fleas worldwide? That fact alone probably has your skin crawling. In Wisconsin we (and our furry friends) tend to only have run-ins with a few types of fleas. The cat flea is the most common domestic flea that we meet.

Fleas are small, wingless parasites that feed on blood. They appear flat, dark, and reddish-brown in color and are about 1/12”-1/6” in size.

Fleas do not have the ability to fly, but they can jump! Fleas can jump as high as 8” vertically, which is 150 times their own height.

Once a flea hatches and becomes an adult, it will jump onto a host. Fleas are attracted to and can live on any warm-blooded animal, but seem to prefer humans, dogs, cats, rats and other rodents. Once attached to its host, the flea will feed. The female flea can consume 15 times her own body weight in blood daily. Fleas will mate and lay eggs upon their chosen host. A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime! Some of these eggs will drop off of the host and land in places such as our yards, bedding and carpeting.

The Threats

Besides the itchy, painful red bumps that flea bites leave behind, flea bites and infestations can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets and can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets. When fleas populate a mouse colony, disease can become a very deep concern, the worst disease on record being the bubonic plague. They also transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats.

Prevention Tips

Since fleas can be transported on rodents and other animals, search the perimeter of your home in fall with a mirror, looking at the bottom side of your siding for any openings where animals or rodents may be entering your home. Walk the perimeter of your home looking for freshly dug dirt and use a flashlight and search under the deck to check for burrowing animals. A good prevention tip is to use chicken wire behind lattice to create a decorative “rat wall” to keep these critters out of these areas.

Keep your home clean and vacuum regularly, wash any bed linens that you think may be carrying fleas or their eggs.

Keep your yard clear of garbage and pet droppings; keep your lawn properly landscaped.

Protect your pets by checking their coats for fleas, especially if you see any excessive scratching or licking, bathing your pet (and their bedding and plush toys) regularly and see your vet for annual check-ups and for advice on flea products and prevention.

Fleas have the ability to reproduce quickly. Contact a licensed professional pest management specialist for assistance.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to handle your flea problem. Give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Tick Truths

blacklegged female on grass

Image by NPMA

  • Ticks are not insects. Ticks are actually arachnids like spiders, scorpions and mites. Unlike insects, all members of this group have 4 pairs of legs as adults, and haven’t any antennae.
  • There are a few ticks that are more commonly found in Wisconsin, the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the Blacklegged tick. The Lone Star tick is also becoming more prevalent in Wisconsin.
  • Ticks do not fly or jump. They will crawl onto grass or brush until they find a host to crawl up and attach to. It is thought that ticks also have the ability to wait on higher ground and drop onto a host.
  • Ticks need blood to survive. Ticks will bury themselves deep within a host and can stay attached for days to eat.
  • A quick tick check after being outdoors (check your pets too!) and a prompt removal of a tick is important. For ticks to successfully transmit a disease, such as Lyme disease, they typically need to be feeding for 24-48 hours.
  • Ticks transmit a wide array of disease-causing microbes. In Wisconsin several tickborne illnesses have been reported such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the highest reported illness in Wisconsin.
  • Ticks are easiest removed by using a fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible, pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; doing so can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this does happen, try to remove the mouth-parts with your tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal. Once the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. *
  • To prevent tick encounters avoid known tick-infested areas. When you are outdoors, keep to the center on cleared walkways and trails and try to avoid brushing up against vegetation and tall grass.
  • Wear protective and lighter-colored clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes when you think you may be encountering a tick-infested area. As an added extra ounce of protection, tuck your pants into your socks. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so ticks cannot crawl under clothing.

Call our knowledgeable staff now for a free quote at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at www.safewaypest.net  to request a free estimate and check out our current specials, especially our 3 tier Mosquito program, which also targets ticks.

*Source: Department of Entomology, UW Madison

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Bed Bug Misconceptions-Putting them to Rest

9555644-image-of-q-a-on-3d-blocks-isolated-on-a-white-backgroundYou may have hoped that a new season and a new year would bring a new lower number of bed bug infestations in Wisconsin, but unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. Many are seeking the help of a professional to eradicate their bed bug problem, and answer their bed bug questions.
There are many misconceptions regarding bed bugs, where they come from, why, and how to deal with them. This is due to the overwhelming amount of information readily available on the internet, some which may be incorrect.

Below are some common questions and misconceptions regarding bed bugs:

Q: How did I get bed bugs in my home? Is it because our mattresses are very old?
A: Most bed bug infestations start with a simple, unknown transaction. For instance, someone you know may be unaware that they have bed bugs at home and they are accidentally carried into your home while staying with you, or the apartment that you share a wall with has a bed bug infestation. Another possibility is that you took a trip and picked bed bugs up at a hotel you stayed at, or bed bugs came in on that furniture you bought at a rummage. You even could have picked bed bugs up during a trip to a movie theater.
Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers!
Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt though, nor are they more common to those at a lower poverty level; they are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. However, a thorough cleaning of an affected area, and reducing clutter can deprive bed bugs of some of their hiding places, slowing down, but not halting, an infestation.
If you are feeling uneasy about your mattresses/box springs, there are encasements that you can purchase to defend your mattress against bed bugs (although a mattress cover will not cure a current infestation in your home).
Q: I have bed bugs. Do I have to treat my pet?
A: Bed bugs will occasionally bite pets, and it is possible for a bed bug to hitchhike in a pet’s fur to get to reach a new and better suited infestation site , but bed bugs will always prefer a human over a pet.
There isn’t any need to treat a pet.

For more information, experienced treatment options, or for knowledgeable answers to your questions regarding bed bugs, call us at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800, or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net
For more information visit some of our past articles on bed bugs (below):
https://safewayblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/traveling-without-bed-bug-hitchhikers/
https://safewayblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/bed-bugs-not-just-a-bedtime-story/

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