It’s always a good time to be aware of fleas and ticks in Franklin, NC. The weather is getting colder and the nights are getting longer, but that doesn’t mean that our pets haven’t already brought fleas or ticks into our homes. And in some areas they can still bring them in.
They are pesky little creatures that are so good at hiding and many times we don’t even realize there is an infestation until it’s too late.
Fleas, especially, are known to increase in homes during the winter months. The females may have laid their eggs earlier and as our homes heat up inside the pupae come to life, looking to feed.
Even indoor animals can be susceptible to fleas. They can be carried indoors and infect your animal.
- Fleas don’t have wings, but they can jump up to one and a half feet.
- One female flea can lay over 2,000 eggs in her life cycle.
- The female lays her eggs on the host, then the eggs roll off into carpets, upholstery, etc.
- The eggs produce larvae, become a cocoon like a moth or a butterfly and then the pupae emerges looking to repeat the cycle.
- Optimal cycle from egg to adult is 21 days, but they are adaptable and will lay in wait until conditions, mainly temperature, are ideal for them to continue to the next cycle, up to a year.
- From egg to adult all stages require blood to feed so they will stay attached to a host.
- There are over 900 species of ticks and some ticks have species preferences like the Brown Dog Tick
- Dogs are more likely to get ticks than cats
DANGERS OF FLEAS AND TICKS:
Fleas can carry a few different diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including typhus and plague. They are also known to carry tapeworms which are most dangerous to small children as they often crawl on the floor and put things into their mouths, including, sometimes, the dog's paw or the cat's tail.
Fleas can also cause skin irritation and allergies in you and your pets. In some cases a disease called Haemobartonellosis can affect your cats and dogs, causing anemia, weight loss, and in untreated cases, it can be fatal to cats.
Ticks have a whole new set of diseases. The most known is probably Lyme disease, which may not present for 3 - 30 days after a tick bite. Rashes generally occur in the area of the bite and can be accompanied by fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches. Sometimes the latter symptoms are present without the rash. Early treatment is key to keep from progressing to Chronic Lyme Disease. Lyme disease can also be present in your pets.
Other diseases that can affect both humans and animals are Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
When caught early, most diseases transmitted from fleas and ticks can be treated with antibiotics. With ticks remember to Never remove a tick from your animal with your bare hands and if you do try and remove it, make sure not to twist the tick. It’s extremely important to make sure that you do not leave the head embedded in the skin.
Fortunately, there are a variety of safe preventive measures your veterinarian can provide for your pets. Whether you go with topical or internal treatments is up to you, and your vet. Make sure to talk to your pet’s doctor in Franklin, NC today, to make sure you don’t have to deal with an infestation later.