Many pet owners feel itchy at the mere mention of creepy-crawlies hitching a ride into their homes on their beloved pets. Understandable as the tendency may be, keeping clients in the dark can do more harm than good this flea and tick season.
To help jump-start your preventive care campaign this year, we’ve compiled 10 Did You Know Facts that you can share with pet owners on your veterinary social media accounts. Armed with a better understanding of fleas and ticks, your clients will be more prepared to prevent and treat potential outbreaks.
- The average flea has a lifespan of 2 to 3 months.
- Although flea eggs are typically laid on the host, they often fall off and spread the infestation to the surrounding environment. It’s essential to treat both your pet and your home to eradicate an infestation.
- Fleas have no wings—they jump to get onto hosts.
- A female flea can consume 15x its body weight in blood every day. Left untreated, flea infestations can cause anemic complications for your pet.
- Fleas carry plenty of bacteria, some of which can transmit parasites and diseases that affect humans.
- There are two groups of ticks, commonly know as hard ticks and soft ticks based on the appearance of their bodies.
- Hard tick saliva contains anesthetic compounds, making it harder for hosts to notice bites.
- Ticks can also bite humans—most often the hard tick—which can cause disease if left untreated.
- Ticks tend to be most active in late spring and summer, living in tall bush and grass before attaching to hosts.
- Some ticks produce a neurotoxin in their saliva that can induce paralysis. It gradually progresses five to nine days after attachment to the host and dissipates after proper, timely removal of the tick.