PARASITE INFOs

  • FLEAS

Fleas are one of the most common parasites found throughout the country. They love warm, humid conditions and are attracted to pets by body heat. No matter how careful you are, it’s virtually impossible for even indoor dogs to avoid the occasional flea, and if left untreated, fleas will soon flourish in even the cleanest household environment. Fleas have a simple life cycle. Adults can live up to 100 days, biting to feed on blood and produce flea eggs. The eggs drop to the ground or carpet and mature into larvae, then pupae, finally hatching into adults.

Adults

    • Need constant blood source
    • Feed and mate within 24 hours
    • Produce eggs within 20 to 24 hours

Eggs

  • Average 40 to 50 eggs per day
  • Drop off pet into the environment, including carpet
  • On average, hatch within 10 days

Larvae

  • Free-living stage
  • Feed on organic debris and flea feces
  • Last an average of 5 to 12 days

Pupae

  • Sticky, protective outer shell
  • Last an average of 8 to 9 days
  • Can survive months and hatch when conditions are favorable

Once your dog has them, fleas can spread anywhere your dog goes, including to other pets or in your home. In just 30 days, 10 fleas can become an infestation of up to 250,000 adult fleas on your dog and in your home.

Fleas bite to survive and to reproduce, injecting irritating substances into the skin that can cause itching, scratching, and skin irritation. In some dogs, flea bites can lead to an allergic reaction called flea bite hypersensitivity, also known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Fleas can also cause other serious health issues such as anemia and tapeworm infections.

An effective way to keep adult fleas off your dog is to use a monthly product, year-round, that kills fleas and treats flea infestations. Year-round protection leaves no gaps in flea prevention coverage – ensuring the most effective treatment for your dog.

  • TICKS

Ticks have adapted to wet & dry seasons and can be found throughout the country. Although ticks favor wooded areas and tall grasses where they can attach themselves to passing animals, some ticks can also infest door environments such as homes and kennels.

Female ticks lay hundreds to thousands of eggs. These eggs mature to larvae, nymphs, and adults, which can parasitize animals and become a source of further infestations.

Ticks feed on the blood of their host. They suck blood through their mouthparts that they cement onto their host’s skin when they attach. This is usally painless, but could have potentially devastating health consequences for your dog.

When an infected tick attaches to your dog, it may transmit organisms that can cause diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and tularemia.

Diagnosis and treatment of some tick-borne diseases can be both complicated and costly. While treatment is available for some, it may not be for others, so repelling ticks to help prevent attachment is key in helping to protect your dog from tick-borne diseases.

  • MOSQUITOES

There are about 3,000 species of mosquitoes that have been described on a worldwide basis. Mosquitoes belong to a group of insects that require blood to develop fertile eggs. Males do not lay eggs, thus, male mosquitoes do not bite. The females are the egg producers and the “host-seek” for a blood meal. Female mosquitoes lay multiple batches of eggs and require a blood meal for every batch they lay.

Few people realize that mosquitoes rely on sugar as their main source of energy. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, fruit juices, and liquids that ooze from plants. The sugar is burned as fuel for flight and is replenished on a daily basis. Blood is reserved for egg production and is consumed less frequently.

Any insect that feeds on blood has the potential to transmit diseases. Mosquitoes are highly developed blood-sucking insects and are the most formidable transmitters of organisms that may cause disease in the animal kingdom. Make sure your dog is on a monthly product that repels and kills mosquitoes.

DID YOU KNOW THAT:

  1. Fleas have been around for about 100 million years
  1. Fleas can jump up to 150 times their own length
  1. The female flea can lay 2000 eggs in her lifetime – a flea’s life span is about 2-3 months
  1. Flea eggs can survive freezing temperatures and are able to hatch as soon as warmer weather sets in
  1. The female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily
  1. A flea can bite 400 times a day – if your pet has 10 fleas, that’s a rate of 4000 bites a day!”

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