Fleas are wingless parasitic insects that live off the blood of other animals. fleas can carry diseases such as tape worms and Lyme disease. While tape worms are not transmitted by flea bites, they often carry the tapeworm eggs and as your pet bites to relieve the itching may ingest the flea with eggs and become infected.
Fleas have four stages in their life cycle, egg, larva, pupa and adult. The length of the cycle can be anywhere from two weeks to a year depending on the environment. They prefer high humidity and temperatures making this month so far a fleas dream.
Ticks on the other hand are parasitic vertebrates, that infect every terrestrial vertebrate. Ticks are not as often thought an insect. They are members of the Arachnid class which includes spiders, scorpions and mites. Ticks love to target dogs and can transmit serious diseases like Rocky mountain Spotted fever and Ehrlichiosis. Ticks love humans as well.
The best way to get rid of both fleas and ticks is to prevent them from the start, while getting your pets annual shots talk to your veterinarian of what options they can suggest, and they can offer many prescription remedy’s. If you just can’t afford the veterinary medicines, don’t be afraid to tell your vet. They are people like us, and while they need to make a living and do so with the help of preventatives, most veterinarians will let you know the best over the counter and other treatments as every veterinarian I have worked with the pet came first.
Once you have an infestation on your dog or cat if they come in the house you are likely to have them even if you don’t see them. A professional exterminator is always the best source but they are expensive.
During break outs of fleas and ticks, one of the old remedies and maybe not supported by many was the garden dust Seven. I have seen it on farms used on dogs, sleeping areas, and even put under couch cushions in heavily infested homes. I can not recommend the use, but have seen it used many times.
The best approach in my opinion is to follow the Veterinarians advice, and on a regular bases have a yard or pest control company spray your yard. While this means keeping your pets and children off the yard for a day, the newest chemicals leave no threat to your pet or child.
Remember fleas can be hard to see, and once you see them you could have them everywhere before you know it.