Ticks vs. Fleas – What’s the Difference?

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As you and your pets become more active outside during the summer weather, so do ticks and fleas. Don’t become prey to these outdoor bloodsuckers — learn how to spot, prevent and treat ticks and fleas this summer with help from the experts at Greenix Pest Control. 

What is the Difference Between Fleas and Ticks?

Both fleas and ticks are bloodsucking insects with the potential to carry and transmit serious diseases, but they’re very different in their appearance and behavior. 

Fleas are tiny, flightless insects with six legs and a passion for ruining your day. Fleas jump from place to place — up to 7 inches high and 13 inches horizontally — to settle on a host for routine feeding. They’ll also lay larvae and reproduce on a host, as well as settle in a household. 

Ticks, on the other hand, are eight-legged flightless insects that prefer to make as many people and animals unhappy as possible. Ticks will attach to a host for anywhere between 3-6 days, then fall off to find their next victim. They often return to the wild for reproduction and settlement. 

Flea Bites vs. Tick Bites

Like any bug bite, both flea and tick bites can irritate their hosts’ skin. However, their behaviors lead to different bite marks and impacts. 

What does a flea bite look like? 

A flea bite will be small, raised, and discolored, often appearing in a straight line or cluster of other bite marks. 

What does a tick bite look like?

A tick bite will appear like a singular mosquito bite — red and raised. However, a Lyme disease tick bite will form a bulls-eye-shaped rash surrounding the bite. 

Exercise caution when evaluating bug bites — tick and flea bites may develop scabs, sometimes which mask an insect still underneath the skin feeding.

Do Ticks and Fleas Bite Humans?

Despite their differences, fleas and ticks find common ground in two things — biting humans and carrying many diseases. They don’t discriminate when it comes to warm-blooded animals.

Fleas can spread bacterial illnesses causing flu-like symptoms, tapeworms, and even anemia. Mostly, flea bites are itchy and annoying, but it’s best to monitor your symptoms.

Meanwhile, ticks carry diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease, which can produce more serious symptoms that require quick intervention. Many ticks are not carriers of such diseases, but it’s best to monitor symptoms for 30 days following a tick bite on a human. 

Flea and Tick Prevention

For yourself and your family, wear pants and long-sleeve shirts, use insect repellent, and wash your clothes and body after outside exposure. Always pay attention to the hard-to-see parts of your body to make sure a hitchhiker hasn’t made its way home. 

Pets have a bit tricker factors being closer to the ground, often having more outdoor exposure and plenty of space for insects to hide among their fur. Be sure to examine your pet daily with your hands or hairbrush, looking in all their hard-to-see places. You can also employ some preventative topical solutions, shampoos, or oral supplements. 

Don’t wait for fleas and ticks to make you their next meal — contact the Greenix pest control professionals today. We’ll flush out any existing fleas and ticks and treat against future infestations for year-round protection of your home and pets. Request a free quote today!

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