Pet owners know very well that fleas and ticks can be a headache. Even while taking the utmost precautions, these pests can find their way onto our pets and, possibly, into our homes. It is always best not to underestimate these potentially dangerous pests.
We all want to be the best pet parents possible. Knowing the risks of fleas and ticks, we know how important it is to get rid of them quickly. Emtec has gathered some information together to help.
The Differences Between Fleas and Ticks
These two pests are often mentioned together, and Emtec takes both of them seriously. If you suspect you have a problem with either of these pests, there are some key differences to understand. Here are some highlights of the need-to-know facts:
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What Types of Health Complications Might Fleas and Ticks Cause?
Though fleas and ticks are most closely associated with cats and dogs, humans are also susceptible to their itchy bites and the diseases they may carry. Let’s take a closer look at a few common illnesses you may encounter.
Health Complications Caused by Fleas
You may have heard someone say their pet is allergic to fleas. This doesn’t mean the physical touch of fleas; the flea saliva triggers the allergy. This is called flea allergy dermatitis and causes relentless itching and scratching. Since it is the saliva, the itching may continue even after the fleas have been treated and removed.
Another health complication to note is spreading a parasite called Dipylidium, commonly known as tapeworm. Tapeworms can be present in multiple species, including humans. It can cause diarrhea, rapid weight loss, abdominal pain, and anemia in humans. In very rare cases, it can cause infection in the brain.
Note that it is crucial to have a professional inspect your home following an infestation. Fleas can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a lifetime and may hide dormant for months before hatching and infecting you or your pets. Thorough elimination is the best way to stay safe, and the team at Emtec is standing by, waiting for your call. Contact us today to keep you and your family protected from flea infestation!
Health Complications Caused by Ticks
Ticks are notorious for health problems beyond the bite. Like fleas, they can spread disease to pets and their humans.
There is one significant disease associated directly with ticks called Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. At first, Lyme disease usually causes symptoms such as a rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. But if it is not treated early, the infection can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. Prompt treatment can help you recover quickly. Speaking to your vet about the Lyme disease vaccine is recommended in high-risk areas.
A lesser known disease but highly fatal to cats, cytauxzoonosis is a tick-borne disease contracted when a tick bites an infected bobcat. Afterward, if an infected tick bites a domestic cat, it passes along the disease. It used to be thought that domestic cats would almost always die if contracted. Through increased awareness and modern treatment, that risk has been mitigated to an approximate 40% death rate. Symptoms are clinical lethargy, fever, and inappetence within 5-20 days after the tick bite.
Fleas and Ticks on Cats
As one can imagine, the most visible symptom of bites or infestation is scratching. This also presents as licking, chewing, rubbing, or anything to scratch/soothe the affected area. The amount of scratching can result in hair loss. Another quick check is to see if your pet’s gums seem discolored or whiter than usual.
If you want to self-examine for fleas, get a flea comb or any fine-tooth comb, and slowly pull the fur back as you look for fleas and their excrement (flea dirt). If any signs of fleas are found, seek treatment immediately.
Ticks are a little larger and continue to grow the longer they feed. If you suspect your cat has ticks, run your hands along their fur, feeling for bumps. Check under their collar if they have one, along their ears, neck, and tail, as well as the belly and private areas. Check out any pea-sized bumps or anything that feels foreign. It could be a tick or a scab from where a tick was.
Fleas and Ticks on Dogs
Similar to cats, the tell-tale sign of fleas is scratching. Hair loss, paw chewing, etc., are also symptoms. While fleas can be anywhere on your dog, ticks tend to feed on the head, tail, and belly. If you don’t notice any ticks, but your dog shakes his head a lot or has mysterious scabs, wounds, or bleeding, your dog may have ticks. If you are experiencing issues with these pests, Emtec has a seasoned, local professional team ready to protect your pets and family.
How to Remove a Tick
Don’t hesitate to remove a tick immediately. Follow these simple steps:
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too.
If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form.