The Ultimate Flea and Tick Guide

Pet owners know very well that fleas and ticks can be a headache. Even while taking the utmost precautions, these pests can find their way onto our pets and, possibly, into our homes. It is always best not to underestimate these potentially dangerous pests.

We all want to be the best pet parents possible. Knowing the risks of fleas and ticks, we know how important it is to get rid of them quickly. Emtec has gathered some information together to help.

The Differences Between Fleas and Ticks

These two pests are often mentioned together, and Emtec takes both of them seriously. If you suspect you have a problem with either of these pests, there are some key differences to understand. Here are some highlights of the need-to-know facts:

Big Tick on a dog


Ticks survive in nearly every climate and may even withstand freezing temperatures. They are known to spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and the notorious Lyme disease. These pests feed on hosts through all stages of life and can attach to multiple hosts in a lifetime. With adequate feeding, they can live from 3 to nearly ten years.

In that time, they can lay thousands of eggs, which makes any single tick a potential threat. Ticks are arachnids with eight legs, flat, dark brown, or tortoiseshell patterns in color (females can have a light red/orange abdomen). After feeding, they are gray/gray-blue and have an oval-shaped body.

Fleas on a white fabric


Unlike ticks, fleas thrive in warmer climates. They spread diseases like ticks, but different ones, namely tapeworm, and bartonellosis (colloquially Cat Scratch Fever). Fleas are only found biting in the adult phase of life and often live and die on one host. With a lifespan of approximately 100 days, fleas still find a way to lay 20-40 eggs per day over several weeks. Naturally, the more they feed, the more they can produce. Fleas are labeled insects with six legs, dark brown or red/brown coloration, and a wingless, oval-shaped body.

Call today to connect with a Flea and Tick Control Specialist!

What Types of Health Complications Might Fleas and Ticks Cause?

Though fleas and ticks are most closely associated with cats and dogs, humans are also susceptible to their itchy bites and the diseases they may carry. Let’s take a closer look at a few common illnesses you may encounter.

Health Complications Caused by Fleas

You may have heard someone say their pet is allergic to fleas. This doesn’t mean the physical touch of fleas; the flea saliva triggers the allergy. This is called flea allergy dermatitis and causes relentless itching and scratching. Since it is the saliva, the itching may continue even after the fleas have been treated and removed.

Another health complication to note is spreading a parasite called Dipylidium, commonly known as tapeworm. Tapeworms can be present in multiple species, including humans. It can cause diarrhea, rapid weight loss, abdominal pain, and anemia in humans. In very rare cases, it can cause infection in the brain.

Man itching and scratching his arm from allergy

Note that it is crucial to have a professional inspect your home following an infestation. Fleas can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a lifetime and may hide dormant for months before hatching and infecting you or your pets. Thorough elimination is the best way to stay safe, and the team at Emtec is standing by, waiting for your call. Contact us today to keep you and your family protected from flea infestation!

Health Complications Caused by Ticks

Ticks are notorious for health problems beyond the bite. Like fleas, they can spread disease to pets and their humans.

Lyme disease

Lyme Disease

There is one significant disease associated directly with ticks called Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. At first, Lyme disease usually causes symptoms such as a rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. But if it is not treated early, the infection can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. Prompt treatment can help you recover quickly. Speaking to your vet about the Lyme disease vaccine is recommended in high-risk areas.

sick cat


A lesser known disease but highly fatal to cats, cytauxzoonosis is a tick-borne disease contracted when a tick bites an infected bobcat. Afterward, if an infected tick bites a domestic cat, it passes along the disease. It used to be thought that domestic cats would almost always die if contracted. Through increased awareness and modern treatment, that risk has been mitigated to an approximate 40% death rate. Symptoms are clinical lethargy, fever, and inappetence within 5-20 days after the tick bite.

With some flea and tick knowledge under our belts, let’s explore how they affect our pets more in-depth.

How Fleas and Ticks Infest Cats and Dogs

Now that we know more about fleas and ticks, it makes sense that it is a problem for pets. With impressive jumping ability relative to their size, fleas can easily reach you or your pets’ legs from the ground. Once latched on, they can live and feed on their host for months.

We should be weary; pets are not the only ones at risk. Fleas and ticks have also been known to feed on human flesh. Not only this, but they can also be masters of disguise! Catching a ride on your pet and making their way into your furniture and carpet, these creepy pests may plot the scene for an all-out infestation.

tabby kitten lying on the lawn, scratching fleas

Fleas and Ticks on Cats

As one can imagine, the most visible symptom of bites or infestation is scratching. This also presents as licking, chewing, rubbing, or anything to scratch/soothe the affected area. The amount of scratching can result in hair loss. Another quick check is to see if your pet’s gums seem discolored or whiter than usual.

If you want to self-examine for fleas, get a flea comb or any fine-tooth comb, and slowly pull the fur back as you look for fleas and their excrement (flea dirt). If any signs of fleas are found, seek treatment immediately.

Ticks are a little larger and continue to grow the longer they feed. If you suspect your cat has ticks, run your hands along their fur, feeling for bumps. Check under their collar if they have one, along their ears, neck, and tail, as well as the belly and private areas. Check out any pea-sized bumps or anything that feels foreign. It could be a tick or a scab from where a tick was.

Shiba Inu scratching on the grass

Fleas and Ticks on Dogs

Similar to cats, the tell-tale sign of fleas is scratching. Hair loss, paw chewing, etc., are also symptoms. While fleas can be anywhere on your dog, ticks tend to feed on the head, tail, and belly. If you don’t notice any ticks, but your dog shakes his head a lot or has mysterious scabs, wounds, or bleeding, your dog may have ticks. If you are experiencing issues with these pests, Emtec has a seasoned, local professional team ready to protect your pets and family.

How to Remove a Tick

Don’t hesitate to remove a tick immediately. Follow these simple steps:

  • 1 Prepare Materials and Your Pet
    Grab gloves to protect yourself from any blood and fluids released upon removal. Keep yourself safe from any diseases the tick might be carrying. You can put rubbing alcohol in a jar to drop the tick in once it is removed. This will kill the tick and give you a place to hold on to it if you feel it needs to be taken to the vet for further testing. As for your pet: keep calm. Your pet will likely be opposed to you pulling a tick off. You can distract them with a treat or some affection.
  • 2 Remove the Tick
    Spread your pet’s fur away from the tick. With tweezers, grab close to the skin and pull firmly away from the body. If you grab the back of the tick, it could break off at its head and leave part of it behind. This has the potential to lead to infection.
  • 3 After Removal
    Disinfect, clean, and soothe the area where the tick was removed. If the area bleeds profusely or looks infected, clean and protect it with a bandage and get to a vet as soon as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly, even if you wore gloves, and disinfect any blood that may have dripped. Follow up with your pet checking for infection symptoms both physically and emotionally. As mentioned above, if you keep the tick and suspect further illness, bring it to your vet for further testing immediately.

Ready to Call the Experts?

We are committed to safe and responsible pest control at Emtec Pest Control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority. If you have any other questions about these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling or filling out our online contact form.

At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too.

If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form.

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