We’ve kicked off the summer months here in the New River Valley with an unseasonably cool June with lots of storms. Most yards are growing rapidly, and you may even be having trouble finding time between the rain and storms to keep up with the mowing!

As our families, kids, and pets all tend to spend more time outdoors for cookouts and gatherings and playtime during this time of year, many start to be concerned with pests in the lawn—specifically fleas and ticks. How much do you know about these insects? We’ve rounded up a little information about them and why it’s important to keep these pests out of your lawn and landscape this summer!

Ticks

Did you know that ticks aren’t actually insects? They are arachnids, so they’re actually more closely related to spiders than insects. They have eight legs, and they don’t fly. So those “flying ticks” that have been common in our area this year are actually not ticks at all.

Ticks have four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. It can take up to three years for a tick to reach the mature adult stage, in which it can reproduce. The larva, nymph, and adult stages all require a host to feed on.

While there are nearly 900 species of ticks, in Virginia, the most common types are the American Dog Tick, the Lone Star Tick, and the Deer Tick. This publication from VCE shows these ticks in their various life stages:

View VCE Publication

Ticks carry diseases that make them dangerous to humans and pets, and tick borne diseases can occur from as little as one tick bite. From Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to the more well known Lyme disease, these diseases are very serious. Studies show that each year in the US, over 300,000 people contract Lyme disease! See this full list from the CDC of diseases that ticks can transmit:

CDC List of Tick Borne Diseases

Fleas

Like ticks, fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. However, unlike ticks, their whole life cycle can occur in only 21 days, and they reproduce very quickly! While they are insects, they also don’t fly. Instead, they jump, and they can jump over 100 times their own body length!

While fleas are generally more dangerous to pets than they are to humans, they can, like ticks, carry and transmit several diseases that can affect humans. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council:

“Fleas can carry and transmit several potential illnesses of importance to humans, including typhus and plague, and can transmit “cat scratch disease” (infection with Bartonella) among cats who can then spread the disease to humans. Additionally, fleas serve as an intermediate host for tapeworms, which can infect your pet and occasionally humans.”

Let Green Care Treat Your Lawn for These Pests

While all of that is the bad news, the good news is that the diseases and other issues caused by fleas and ticks are preventable! In addition to taking common sense steps to prevent bites and infestations from these pests on yourself and your pets, Green Care can help with tick and flea control.

We can treat your entire lawn to kill any fleas and ticks that are present. This treatment will help protect you and your pets from these pests and the diseases they carry. So keep your family safe this summer—give Green Care a call today.