The Transylvania Times -

Surprising Facts About Fleas And Ticks

 

May 16, 2019



Fleas and ticks rely on blood for food. They are the vampires of the pet realm, silently stalking companion animals wherever they go. Once fleas and ticks find a victim, they are bound to stay around for a while, enjoying the free meal.

Fleas, in particular, can grow quite fond of a cat or dog — reproducing and quickly building an infestation. Few people are enamored with fleas and ticks, but learning a little more about them can help pet owners understand their behaviors and how to best keep their pets safe.

Fleas

Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and biting adult. Most people are familiar with the adult stage because those are the most noticeable and painful. Fleas can feed on just about any blood host.

Scientists know of more than 2,000 species and subspecies of fleas. However, in North America, the cat flea (ctenocephalides felis) is responsible for the majority of cat and dog infestations.

Female fleas are typically larger than the males and are responsible for proliferating the flea brood. Females can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood every day. This helps to fuel egg-laying, which can take place within 36 to 48 hours of the female’s first meal. In her lifetime, a female flea can lay roughly 2,000 eggs.

Fleas are wingless parasites that get around by jumping from host to host. If they don’t have to expend too much energy (i.e. get comfortable on a host), they can go anywhere from between two months and 100 days without a meal. Fleas can jump up to 8 inches high, enabling them to grab onto a passing meal source.

A typical flea can live for a few months, and fleas can carry a number of different diseases. From plague to cat scratch fever to tapeworms, fleas can make pets ill and also affect people who interact with them.

 
 

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