This Post is Provided by Amy Tonic from PetGuide.com. Spring is here… and that means in seasonal climates that fleas and ticks are making their way to your pets. They think of your pet as their warm home with free meals, and they plan to take up residence for generations unless you evict them. Sure, fleas and ticks both cause your pet to itch and can bring health problems, but did you know that there are many differences between the two? Let’s go over what makes them different for each other so you know what you’re up against when trying to keep them off your pets and you!
Even though this insect is wingless, it can jump like any NBA player. Fleas can be tough to spot – they measure in at 1/16 to 1/8-inches long. With a lifespan of about 100 days, fleas like to settle in and stay on one dog. That means once it jumps on your dog, the flea will stay there until it dies. And why would it go anywhere else? Your dog has everything it needs to live comfortably – it feeds off your dog (yum!) and starts having babies as it finishes eating. For several weeks, they will lay about 20 to 40 eggs a day. And these eggs will go wherever the dog goes, so shedded hair that contains eggs can land anywhere.
Happier in a mild climate, fleas prefer heat to cold, so they would rather spend their time indoors where it’s toasty warm. But hey, fleas don’t come to their new home without a housewarming present. These annoying creatures can carry bartonellosis and tapeworm to pass along to your dog.
A close cousin to spiders, the tick is considered to be an arachnid (thanks to their eight legs). It’s bigger than the flea, measuring in at ¼ to 1/8-inches long. Ticks don’t mind moving from animal to animal – they aren’t too picky were they set up house. In fact, ticks can be found o snakes, lizards and humans. Their life cycle can last anywhere from three weeks to three years. You won’t think that these little blood suckers would be picky, but they are. They will wait until they find the right home, and then leave to find another host to sponge off of. They just can’t spend too long on one dog. As larvae, nymphs and adults, they will go from host to host through each life stage.
And let’s talk about eggs. After feeding off the dog, the female tick will fall from its host and lay thousands of eggs at one time (yikes!). Once it has finished with this task, the tick will die, leaving behind a new generation to carry on its dirty work. Happiest in cold temperatures, the tick doesn’t mind the winter climates. As for diseases, the tick carries around plenty of potential deadly diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of PetGuide.com. With the help of her trusted sidekick, Oscar, PetGuide.com covers all the latest dog news, events, information and products that pet parents need to know about. All this month, PetGuide.com is looking into Fleas and Ticks and how you can get ahead of the problem before it gets out of control.