There is a wealth of information about fleas and ticks, and here are some facts about them that you may not be aware of. The goal is to inform you of the importance of taking steps toward flea and tick control at your home before there is a problem. Take preventative measures to protect yourself, your pets and your family from this blood-drinking pests.
Flea Facts and Risks You Need to Know
A flea is a flea is a flea? Not exactly. Would you have ever thought that the fleas on your dog are more likely to be cat fleas than dog fleas? Cat fleas are Ctenocephalides felis. Dog fleas are Ctenocephalides canis. Did you know there is a human flea too? Its scientific name is Pulex irritans. That does not mean that the fleas on your dog or cat will not bite you. It just means they prefer their furry hosts for a blood meal over you.
Fleas can be the vampires you invite into your home. If that reminds you of any scary movies, it should. You probably heard some historical information about the plague, or Black Death. It is caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. Many have heard that rats were what spread the disease. Actually, it was rats that carried the fleas that spread the plague. Fleas spread disease by regurgitating blood meals as well as in their feces. With infected fecal pellets aside, can you imagine a flea vomiting up infected blood on your body or on your pets?
Ticks Can Ruin Your Life
Ticks are in wooded areas, and they are in your yard too. Deer, rabbits and other animals wander through. Ticks, already full of a nice hot blood meal, fall off their hosts and wait to get hungry again. In the meantime, they are producing offspring to increase their numbers. Their numbers can increase or decrease based on many factors, but they are there. Finding one on yourself or your pets is more a matter of luck. Ticks like to wander around on people until they find a concealed spot such as your armpits or groin. They stick their mouthparts into your skin and feed on your blood. Their mouthparts look somewhat like a tiny reciprocating saw, and they use them to saw a hole into their hosts to feed. They will bite you or your pets.
You may not even notice a tick until it has been feeding on you or your pet for days as this is when they get bigger. The tiny tick bloats with blood before it falls off, often looking like a grayish skin tag. They carry diseases such as Lyme, and the chance of getting infected is tied to how long the tick has been feeding on its host. There are different tick species and various diseases they spread in addition to Lyme such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis and more.
Has this article made you scratch your head, pun intended, wondering whether flea and tick control is an important thing to consider? Though fleas and ticks are more likely to infest homes that have pets, they can still be present in homes that do not have any pets at all. They live in the environment, they are small, and they can infest and infect at any time.