A single female flea can produce an average of 50 eggs per day. Microscopic larvae hatch within days, spin a cocoon two weeks later, and become pupae for up to an entire year. When the temperature is just right, adult fleas emerge and seek a blood meal. Ticks have a four-stage life cycle that requires 3 different hosts to complete. Adult female ticks breed while on a host, then fall to the ground to lay thousands of eggs. These hatch into the larval stage, 8-legged nymphs, and then molt into adults within a relatively short amount of time.
As we enter the peak season for such pests, it remains critically important to guard against potential diseases and health concerns via proactive parasite prevention.
Flea infestations can occur in carpeting, bedding, upholstery, vents, between floorboards, etc. and are nearly impossible to eradicate. Compulsive vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing can’t stop fleas from jumping 200 times their own length to other parts of the room.
Once embedded in your pet’s skin, ticks are equally horrifying to encounter. They use special carbon dioxide sensors to find their prey and position themselves in places where they’re likely to encounter a passing leg.
Flea bites are terribly itchy and trigger an allergic reaction for many pets called flea allergy dermatitis. All the scratching can lead to severe stress and anxiety, hotspots, bleeding, and serious inflammation at the site of the bite.
A bite from a tick may not necessarily bother your pet (unless the head is beneath the skin, which causes inflammation and even infection), but the diseases they carry should cause concern. Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anemia, tularemia, and Lyme disease are all terrible diagnoses that can result from a lack of parasite prevention. Even the Black Plague can be transmitted by fleas!
Because of fluctuating seasonal temperatures and the hardy nature of these bugs, year-round parasite prevention is the best line of defense. Even if gets cold, fleas and ticks can enter a stage of dormancy, essentially pressing pause on their current cycle of life.
Many over-the-counter products may not be effective, and they can even be dangerous to your pet’s health. For these reasons, please bring your pet in to see us to determine the appropriate parasite prevention plan. Whether it’s a topical medication or a monthly oral pill, it’s best to find the right product that keeps your pet safe and healthy.
Since fleas and ticks flourish in dark, overgrown, damp places, try to maintain your property to deter these bloodsuckers. Leaf piles, compost heaps, long grass, and refuse should be removed.
If you have additional questions or concerns about parasite prevention, our staff is always here to help.