Fleas & Ticks

About Fleas & Ticks

Fleas & Ticks are parasites that live off the blood of mammals and birds.

They attack a wide variety of warm-blooded creatures, namely humans, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits & livestock.

Fleas are a nuisance to their hosts, causing an itching sensation, which in turn can result in the host attempting to remove the creature by biting, scrtaching or pecking.

Flea bites most often appear as a line of small, raised spots, and can remain itchy for several weeks, and in the case of large infestations can even lead to anemia.

There are 2 main types of Ticks – Hard & Soft.

Tick bites can be very painful a nd sometime paralytic to smaller hosts.They are also very difficult to remove.

The biggest concern however is that both fleas and ticks carry and spread disease.

Fleas & Ticks are carriers of disease, and are best controlled with a regular programme of inspection and treatment.

AUSTRALIAN FLEA & TICK SPECIES

Fleas

(Siphonaptera)

Fleas are a wingless insect, but have powerful long legs allowing them to jump very high.

They are brown in colour, their bodies are a flat oval shape and approx 2.5mm long.

Fleas have a head, mouth, two eyes, six legs and two antennae.

Fleas like to live on any warm-blooded animal, but are most often found on cats, dogs, rabbits, rodents &  humans.

They can also be found in close proximity to their hosts such as in clothing, beds, bedding, carpet & shoes etc.

With their impressive jumping skills fleas can move from host to host.

Adult fleas priorotise feeding and mating.

Their bites are extremely irritating and can affect the behaviour of their hosts.

Fleas have 4 lifecycle stages:  (egg – larva – pupa – adult)

The first feed will trigger the ability to reproduce.

The number of eggs laid depends on the species but can range from 2 to 12.

In her lifetime though a female flea can lay thousands of eggs.

Fleas can breed all year round, but sometimes chose select times that suit the host and environment.

Flea

Ticks

(Ixodes scapularis)

Ticks are flat oval shaped in the body.

They are brown or grey in colour.

They have eyes, 4 pairs of legs & no antennae.

Ticks can live in gardens, lawns & woodlands.

They especially like warm, humid climates, they need moisture in the air to successfully metomorphosis.

They jump on their hosts in order to feed.

Hard Ticks & Soft Ticks behave differently, especially in how they feed.

Soft Ticks generally live in animals’ nests and burrows. They usually feed at night, and they don’t spend much time attached to a host.

Hard Ticks can spend days feeding, while soft ticks feed very quickly.

Hard Ticks will sit out in vegetation and wait for an opportunity, when a host walks past they jump or drop onto them.

Ticks have 4 lifecycle stages:  (egg – larva – pupa – adult)

They must feed at every stage in order to survive, and generally prefer to switch host in betweek stages.

Females lay several thousand eggs at a time.

tick