It’s enough to make your pet scratch, but what about you? What if that thing crawling on you is a flea or tick?
Many people don’t realize how easily they can become infested with pests and parasites. Your pet can bring pests into the home, but you can also pick them up out and about and even at work.
Read on to learn the signs of fleas vs ticks so you and your family will recognize the red flags and know how to get rid of parasites when you find them.
Fleas vs Ticks: What’s the Difference?
Fleas and ticks may be similar in size and have bloodsucking habits. But, they belong to different species and exhibit distinct characteristics.
Fleas are small, wingless insects that are typically brown or black in color. They have strong legs, allowing them to jump quickly from one host to another.
Ticks, on the other hand, are arachnids with eight legs and a larger body. They come in various sizes, from tiny poppy seed-like nymphs to engorged adults.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
To identify fleas, look out for their small, dark bodies that are about the size of a pinhead. Fleas have flattened bodies, enabling them to move easily between fur or feathers.
Their specialized mouthparts are for piercing the skin and sucking blood. This causes itchy bites. If you notice small, red welts with a central puncture mark on your skin or your pet’s, it could indicate flea bites.
What Do Ticks Look Like?
Ticks have a different appearance than fleas. They have oval-shaped bodies and vary in color depending on their species and life stage.
When unfed, the ticks appear relatively flat. After feeding on blood, they become engorged. They can swell to several times their original size.
It’s essential to check for ticks in areas where they commonly attach themselves. They love the scalp, armpits, and groin areas.
Signs of Fleas
Apart from itchy bites, you can spot the signs of fleas. If your pet is constantly scratching or biting at their fur, it could be an indication of fleas. Fleas leave behind “flea dirt” or droppings. This resembles tiny black specks on your pet’s skin or bedding.
You might also spot flea eggs, which are small white ovals that resemble grains of salt. If you suspect fleas, consult a veterinarian for proper treatment.
Signs of Ticks
Ticks are often found in outdoor environments. You can see them in areas with tall grass, wooded areas, or bushes. If you or your pet have been in such areas, regularly check for ticks.
Look for any unusual bumps or skin protrusions. It is accompanied by redness or irritation. Ticks can transmit various diseases. So it’s important to remove them carefully. Check for any symptoms of tick-borne illnesses.
Prevent Their Growth in Your Humble Home
Remember the difference between fleas vs ticks. Keep your living environment clean and regularly groom your pets.
Vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstery regularly. Pay attention to areas where your pets spend most of their time. Use appropriate flea and tick prevention products recommended by your veterinarian.
Take proactive measures to protect yourself, your family, and your pets. You can avoid the discomfort and potential health risks associated with common household pests.
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