Flea and Tick
Learn More About Fleas and Ticks
Fleas are tiny, wingless pest that live on animals and feed their blood. Ticks are much larger than fleas, and have eight instead of six legs. They have mouthparts that allows them to pierce and inject their saliva into the animal skin. Ticks carries diseases such as lyme disease, spotted fever, and tularemia.
Ticks and fleas are the most common parasites. They find hosts from both animals and humans for a blood meal nutrient. If untreated, the insect bites can be painful causing an allergic reaction and transmit disease. Despite them sharing the same parasitic behaviour and tiny size, they are from two different species.
Knowing how to identify one from the other is important to protect yourself from them. When fleas lay their eggs on your pet, some may fall and hatch on carpets, beds, or any other furniture. The new breed may target you or your pet, feeding on your blood, and lay many more eggs.
You can do a lot of things to prevent flea problems. Getting a Professional Pest Control Services is your best bet to rid of fleas and ticks problem permanently.
Lifecycle, Diet & All
Flea and Tick Characteristic
Unfortunately, they are more active during warmer days means activities like eating out, beach days may be the cause. The likelihood encountering these insects increases with a pet you brought along to the park. Pet owners can prevents them by using flea shampoo and save dog scratching from the itchy bites and annoying infestations. It can protect your family from the pathogens they carry with them.
The Flea Lifecycle
Like most insects, they go through four stages in life. They begin as an egg, where they are white in colour and approximately 0.05 centimetres in size. Adult lays its egg on the hairs of its host, which leads to growth in population and eventually a Flea infestation. It takes at least 2 to 7 days for an egg to hatch.
The larvae begin to form hairs on their bodies and feed on blood and flea faeces also called “flea dirt”. The larvae stage will last at least 2 weeks and the larvae forms a cocoon the pupa. The stage process can about a week or 2 weeks, depending on the environment. Finally, it will reach the adult stage where they can live for at least 1 year.
The Tick Lifecycle
Ticks have 4 stages in life that begins with the egg, brown in colour and laid on the ground. A female can lay up to 1000 to 8000 eggs and dies after giving birth. It takes 2 to 3 weeks before they form into a larva. During the larva stage, they will develop only 3 pairs of legs.
After 3 to 13 days they become a nymph looking more like an adult Tick with 4 pairs of legs. A nymph will attach itself to a host to feed for at least 4 to 8 days. Afterwards, they will molt and transform into an adult tick. It takes about 2 months for a tick to develop fully and they can live for up to 3 years.
The Flea Anatomy
The species of fleas are small, wingless insects that belong to the order of Siphonaptera. They have three segments for body part, head, thorax and abdomen covered in hairs. Adult fleas only measure 0.1 to 0.32 centimetres in length, which can make them hard to see.
Unlike mosquitos, only the female feed on a blood meal, both sexes of fleas bite and drink blood from their host. Although they do not have wings, studies report that they have the ability to jump as far as 13 inches.
The Tick Anatomy
Meanwhile, ticks have oval-shaped bodies. They have four pairs of legs, and have no antenna. An adult tick measures up to 3 centimetres. However, most species are 1.5 centimetres in size.
They do not have the same ability as other insects as they cannot fly nor jump. Nevertheless, they can climb on grasses and wait in a position called “questing”. Once a host passes, they will simply climb aboard.
The Flea Dietary
They consider any warm-blooded bodies as a food source. However, they prefer hairy animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and rats. They are always active throughout the day, and fleas feed on their host for blood a couple of times a day. They have the ability to jump long distances to reach a new host.
The Tick Dietary
Ticks feed on a wider range of hosts from mammals, reptiles, amphibians and even birds. A tick will need a new host and usually feed twice, during the night and day. Ticks are opportunistic feeding and attaching themselves to any host as they pass by. They can feed for hours to days, and then detach to complete their lifecycle.
Signs of Flea and Tick Infestation
If these pest have not made any direct appearance, but you want to take caution and be ahead of an infestation. A few signs indicate can identify that they have made you or someone you love a host.
Watch out for these signs:
When they find new homes, it is possible to spot them on areas where your pets are usually around. For example, their kennels or the bedding where they sleep.
Fleas and ticks prefers to feed on animal hosts. If you notice your pet experiencing hair loss. Or excessively licking or scratching, it may have an indication of an infestation. Flea preventative measure is usually bathing pet in soapy water but if matters persist a professional is require.
A flea bite is much itchier compared to a mosquito bite. You will develop rashes or hives if your skin is extra sensitive. Tick bites are not that itchy and harder to detect, they will only leave red spots and bumps on your skin.
You will find tiny black specks on your pets or dog skin, fur or bedding. They are flea dirt, a mix of blood meal and faeces.
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