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Flea and tick infestations are a common problem for both pet owners and people living in areas with heavy infestations. Fleas and ticks may seem like small creatures, but they have the potential to cause a lot of damage. Not only can fleas and ticks cause physical discomfort for your pet, but they can also spread diseases that could even be fatal.
The best way to protect your pet is by understanding the dangers that fleas and ticks pose and taking steps to prevent them from coming into contact with your pet.
Why Fleas and Ticks Are Dangerous
Fleas are wingless parasites that feed on the blood of their host (your pet). They are usually found in areas with warmer climates and high humidity. Fleas can jump up to 18 inches in height, making them difficult to spot and catch. Furthermore, flea eggs are often very tiny and hard to see with the naked eye.
Once a flea finds its way onto your pet, it will begin feeding on its blood, which can result in intense itching for your pet as well as hair loss due to scratching at the itching spots. Flea bites can also lead to skin infections if left untreated. Additionally, fleas may carry tapeworms which can then be transmitted to humans or other animals through contact with infected flea droppings.
Ticks are another type of parasite that feed off their hosts’ blood in order to survive. Ticks attach themselves firmly to their host’s skin and then suck on the blood until they become engorged with fluids (and hence much larger than before).
Ticks often inhabit tall grasses or thick shrubs where they wait for a host animal to pass by so that they can latch on for a meal of blood.
Tick bites may not be immediately visible due to their size; however, if left untreated these bites may become inflamed or infected due to bacterial contamination from the tick’s mouthparts or saliva.
Furthermore, some species of ticks may transmit diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which could have serious health implications for both pets and humans alike if not treated properly.
Common Myths About Fleas and Ticks
Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding these parasites that can lead to ineffective control methods or even harm your pets. To help you make informed decisions about flea and tick control, here is a look at some of the most common myths about fleas and ticks.
Myth 1: Fleas and ticks only affect outdoor pets.
False: While outdoor pets may be more prone to flea and tick infestations due to their increased exposure to the environment, indoor pets are not immune from these parasites either. Fleas can easily hitch a ride on humans or other animals, meaning they can quickly find their way indoors. Ticks, meanwhile, can often be found in yards or on vegetation near homes, making it easy for them to come inside as well.
Myth 2: Flea collars provide enough protection against fleas and ticks.
False: While flea collars may offer some degree of protection against fleas and ticks, they should not be relied upon as your only form of defence against these parasites. Flea collars do not provide complete coverage of the body, leaving some parts exposed to bites from these pests. Additionally, the active ingredients in many collars have been found to be less effective than other forms of treatment like oral medications or spot-on treatments.
Myth 3: Fleas cannot survive in cold weather climates.
False: While cold weather may slow down flea activity or reduce their numbers temporarily, it will not completely eradicate them or prevent re-infestation. In fact, many species of fleas are able to survive cold temperatures by entering into a state known as diapause where they become dormant until temperatures increase again – meaning that even if you live in a colder climate you could still experience an outbreak when temperatures start to rise again later in the year.
Myth 4: If you don’t see any signs of fleas or ticks on your pet, then they don’t have them.
False: Just because you don’t see any signs of fleas or ticks on your pet does not necessarily mean that they don’t have them; it’s possible for small populations of these pests to exist without being visible through regular inspection – especially if you have a long-haired breed, such as a Groodle or Husky, that makes it difficult for you to spot them during grooming sessions. It is important to stay vigilant with regular inspections of your pet as well as using preventative measures like topical medications and insecticidal shampoos or sprays in order to reduce the risk of becoming infested with these pests.
Myth 5: Once my pet has been treated for fleas/ticks I don’t need to worry anymore.
False: Even after your pet has been treated for fleas and ticks there is still a risk that they could become re-infested – especially if they spend time outdoors in areas where there may be an active population of these parasites present. In order to reduce this risk it is important to use preventative measures such as regular grooming sessions with antiparasitic shampoos or sprays. It’s also important to keep up with monthly topical treatments designed specifically for controlling flea/tick populations on pets (in addition to any other environmental control methods recommended by your veterinarian).