Most people with pets, including me, have at some point wondered what fleas and ticks are. This article about the flea and tick difference will make it easier for you to identify the source of the problem, so you can prevent or get rid of it quickly. Most people that visit this site already have an insect problem that needs to be taken care of. Feel free to ask questions as this is what I’m here for. Below you will find a description of the flea and tick life cycle and what makes them so different.
Fleas are wingless creatures that can jump many times their own height. They can easily get from the ground to your pet or your ankles. They are less than 1/10 inches long, which makes them hard to spot if you don’t know where to look. You will typically notice that you have fleas, when your dog or cat starts scratching itself insanely. Your pets are the ones suffering the most from a flea infestation, as fleas tend to stay on their host for as long as possible. If you don’t do anything about it, this can continue for more than one hundred days, until the flea dies from old age.
After feeding on your pet for some time, the flea starts laying eggs. They can produce as much as forty eggs each day for many weeks, making them almost impossible to get rid of once they reach these large numbers. When your pet walks around the house, the eggs will fall of, spreading the flea infestation to the whole house. Fleas live and prosper in mild, warm climates, so they prefer being indoors. Fleas can carry diseases that in some cases are passed to their host.
As annoying as fleas can be, ticks are the real danger to your pets and even you. The tick has eight legs and is called an arachnid, just like spiders. They are about 1/5 inch long, which makes them bigger than the flea. Their size depends on how much blood they have consumed. Unlike fleas, they change hosts often through every life stage. Hosts are not limited to cats and dogs. They can also be found on snakes, lizards and even humans. They can be up to three years old under optimal circumstances.
When they have fed for a while, the tick falls off its host, leaving no less than thousands of eggs behind. After the eggs have been laid, the female tick dies. Ticks prefer cold climates and they have no problem making it through a rough winter. The tick can be very dangerous because of the diseases it carries around. People have actually died from these diseases, so be sure to check yourself and your pet for ticks, especially if you have been walking around in the forest or high grass. You should also try to prevent them from attacking your pets. Many flea treatment products also protect against ticks, so be sure to find one that gets both the jobs done.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.