RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As summer continues, some people may notice an uptick in fleas and ticks on their pets, and experts say this is common during the summer.
Ryan Olivo, the co-owner of Guardian Pest Management, said the summer weather causes animals that carry fleas and ticks to spread the pests.
“You have possums, raccoons, mice, and rats that are just infesting the areas, the neighborhoods, their offspring they have to feed, they have to forage,” said Olivo.
He explained that as those animals forage, they can make their way to neighborhood yards and cause an infestation.
“The fleas and the ticks are on the actual animal that’s invading your property, those eggs they fall off, they become embedded into the yard and in most cases, they can’t hatch unless they find a host.”
He said the host is usually your pet cat or dog.
“They get attached to your animal and your animal becomes infested and it infests fast. It snowballs, one becomes two becomes 20 becomes 100 and then you have an infestation,” said Olivo.
He said if your pet is not on a flea and tick control treatment, the issue may not be resolved, but said there are ways to help control the issue with a solution people maha have in their homes.
“Dawn dish soap works amazing when it comes to treating the actual animal. It doesn’t harm their skin; it doesn’t harm the animal at all,” he said.
Olivo recommends having a pest control company service your home and yard quarterly but said for those unable to access the service, it can also be treated with dish soap.
“I would recommend dawn dish soap. I’ve had great results just putting it in a sprayer spraying the yard. Typically, 90% of households have one of those little garden sprayers that have a bucket. Throw some dawn in there, spray the yard. It might do some damage to the yard, but overall, it’ll come back,” he said.
Dr. Sujan Gogu with South Texas Health Systems says there are several flea and tick-borne disease.
He says fleas can cause typhus disease in people, but says Lyme disease from a tick bite is more common in the Rio Grande Valley.
He says some symptoms of Lyme disease can be similar to COVID symptoms. Those include fever, chills, headaches and fatigue. He says the disease can also be identified through a rash.
“Typically, kind of what you experience with Lyme disease obviously, one of the big symptoms that people experience is they experience like a bullseye type of rash and what I mean bullseye it’s literally like a dartboard where you see that bullseye, but the problem is only 50% of people really pick that up that they have that bullseye rash. 50% of people are relatively asymptotic and they don’t even know that they’ve had it.”
Dr. Gogu says early treatment for the disease is best to avoid any serious complications.