When we think of fleas and ticks, it already evokes a feeling of disgust in many pet owners. There are thousands of products available for the prevention of fleas and ticks, from dog probiotics in Singapore for the prevention of fleas to flea collars and anti-tick shampoos for treatment. We’re wary of these parasites not just because they’re bloodsucking pests but because they can spread rapidly from animal to animal, and in some cases even people too.
Have you ever spared more thought about the more concerning issues that ticks and fleas can give your dog (and even your household)? They don’t just give your beloved pets an uncomfortable feeling of itchiness. Let’s do a deep dive into what dangers these parasites can pose to your home.
What are fleas and ticks?
First off, let’s differentiate between fleas and ticks, as some people interchange these. Identifying whether your furry pal might be infested with fleas versus whether they may be harbouring ticks is important because these two can differ in terms of the removal process, risk, types of medicines or tools needed to remove them, and how to prevent them in the future. Sure, there might be pet supplements in Singaporethat can combat both fleas and ticks, but generally, you should try different approaches if you suspect your pet to have ticks or fleas.
What is a flea?
Fleas are some of the most common parasites that you can find on furry animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, and even in the feathers of birds They’re typically extremely tiny (around 3 millimetres, or an eighth of an inch), dark or brownish, and have flattened or narrow bodies that allow them to grapple or traverse through their host’s fur strands. They might be wingless, but they have strong claws to stick to fur strands and long legs that can help them evade capture. They can jump many times their body length, which means that fleas can jump to a new host extremely easily.
Fleas are parasites that suck blood. Do you know that there are over 2000 species of fleas around the world? Many types of domestic fleas can be found in household animals. There are dog fleas, cat fleas, and even human fleas. Fleas can live their whole lives on the body of their host and multiply extremely quickly. Did you know a female flea can lay 50 eggs per day? Within weeks, your pet’s body can be home to hundreds of fleas. It can be difficult for even the most effective flea and tick spray to kill off.
What is a tick?
A tick is also a parasite that lives by feeding on blood. Ticks are a parasite that can be around 3 to 5 millimetres depending on age, sex, species. One of the most defining factors of a tick is its oval or tear-shaped body that is capable of expanding like a balloon after feeding on its host’s blood. Like fleas, they also have legs that can attach firmly to their host, but they can keep themselves stuck to a host’s skin via their beak-like mouthparts when feeding.
Ticks can be dangerous because they can cause diseases both in pets and humans. The infamous Lyme disease, for example, is a commonly known tick-borne disease. You need to take care when removing ticks as parts of the tick may be left behind after removal. You also need to monitor yourself or your dog for any symptoms. Getting a pet immune booster that helps in tick prevention is strongly advised so your pets do not fall victim to any common tick-borne diseases.
The differences between fleas and ticks
Here is how to identify a flea or tick. Fleas are usually smaller than ticks and are harder to find. Sometimes, you’ll only be able to know that your beloved pet has fleas when you spot the flea faeces that they leave behind on their skin. You can also identify them by the small raised marks they create when feeding.
Fleas are wingless insects, while ticks are arachnids. Ticks are more likely to have different hosts to feed on and hop from host to host, while fleas are more likely to stay on one host all their lives. Curiously, though, fleas are more likely to spread and cause an infestation in your house because of their quick reproduction rate.
Both ticks and fleas can be the root cause of health problems, though the nature of these diseases are different for the two. For example, ticks are known to spread Lyme disease and other serious conditions, while fleas can carry tapeworm larvae and even spread it to children.
How to prevent fleas and ticks in your household
Believe it or not, your defense against these pests isn’t just using flea and tick spray on your pets. Prevention is much more effective than a cure– you can save yourself from the headache of dealing with a flea infestation but taking your furry pal to a regular flea prevention treatment. Also, make sure to vacuum rugs, carpets, curtains, and any fabrics that your pet may use or climb over regularly, as fleas have a tendency of hiding in them. Wash your pet’s bedding regularly and make sure your house is also kept clean.
To prevent ticks, make sure you wear long clothes and tuck shirts and pants when you are traveling to an area you suspect to have ticks. Ticks often hide in wooden or grassy areas, waiting in foliage and latching on when you walk by. Check yourself and your pet for ticks after their walk.
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