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Fleas & Mites What are fleas and mites?

Fleas & Mites What are fleas and mites?

Fleas and mites are types of biting pests that are native to North America. Sometimes referred to as parasitic pests, both of these creatures require a living host to feed themselves and fertilize their eggs. However, there are several differences to keep in mind when discussing these unique pests.

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Mites are a type of tiny arachnid from the Acariformes and Parasitiformes orders. Although many species (like red mites) are visible to the naked eye, others are only visible with the help of a magnifying glass. In contrast, fleas are flightless insects from the order Siphonaptera. There are more than 2,500 species located worldwide, many of which live in Northern Illinois.

Fleas and ticks are somewhat unique in the ways they feed off their prey. Fleas typically feast on mammalian blood, including sources from wildlife animals and birds. Mites can also consume human and animal blood, although they prefer to attack their hosts in other ways. Species like dust mites prefer sloughed skin flakes, while bush mites prefer liquified skin created from enzymes in their saliva.

Are fleas and mites dangerous?

Entomologists recognize fleas and mites as nuisance pests with the occasional side effect. Some vectors spread a host of serious diseases through their bites, while others lead to prolonged scratching and secondary infections.

Fleas can transmit murine typhus to both adults and children. Other household residents, including cats and dogs, may be at risk for tapeworms and bartonellosis. Mites are typically much “safer” pests and rarely transmit illnesses to people in Northern Illinois. Just keep in mind they may cause allergies or lead to excessive itching that results in bleeding.

Why do I have a flea and mite problem?

Flea and mite infestations do not require any encouragement on your part. Your surrounding habitat may just happen to provide everything these pests need to survive. Alternatively, these pests may choose to drop from their hosts (including wildlife animals) and look for more available prey on your property. This is one of the reasons why cats and dogs are such major carriers of flea and mite infestations, especially for home or business owners with indoor/outdoor animals.

You should know fleas and mites can still infest your home even if you don’t have pets. Secondhand furniture, upholstery, and rugs are especially likely to transmit pests. If you have tall grass, overgrown trees, and other vegetation around your home, you may be more likely to harbor wildlife animals that carry both fleas and mites.

Where will I find fleas and mites?

Both fleas and mites can survive for weeks inside your home or business. Rugs, dog beds, and even fluffy pillows can provide enough shelter for these pests to survive. However, you’re more likely to find fleas and mites on a living host, particularly your cats and dogs.

Outside your property, wildlife animals like racoons and deer could deposit fleas and mites into tall grasses and shrubs. These pests prefer to live in wooded areas with a moist and humid climate and are far more active during the summer months when there are more agreeable temperatures.

How do I get rid of fleas and mites?

If you’re struggling to get rid of fleas and mites or experience chronic infestations, you need the team at Pest Control Consultants to provide simple, affordable, and highly discreet treatments. We offer professional pest control services designed to stop biting pests in their tracks, along with expert advice and ongoing consultations to ensure your peace of mind.

Need help controlling mites and fleas within the next few days? Call us immediately to schedule your free inspection. We offer same-day services for mite and flea control, which means we can begin applying genuinely effective treatments within hours of your call.

How can I prevent fleas and mites in the future?

Mite and flea bites can be difficult to manage without professional home pest control. If you’re interested in taking a prevention-first approach, try using the following tips to prevent fleas and mites from infesting your yard:

  • Keep your grass cut short and all bushes and shrubs trimmed down to a manageable size.
  • Use heavy topsoil to fill dips or lows that may hold puddles of standing water.
  • Vaccuum rugs and carpets regularly and make sure to sweep and mop your floors.
  • Wash any dog beds (or fluffy dog toys) on a reliable monthly schedule.
  • Treat your pets against mite and flea activity or consult with a vet for more information.
  • Irrigate your lawn less frequently to prevent pests from migrating to your yard.
  • Follow best wildlife management practices to stop carrier animals from transmitting pests.
  • Inspect secondhand rugs, dog beds, and upholstery for any signs of flea activity.

The most effective way to eliminate a flea or mite infestation is to speak with the team at Pest Control Consultants about your options for pest control in the Midwest.

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