ICK! Fleas and Ticks

Just think about fleas and ticks and you itch all over. Ick! But don’t worry — you’ve come to the right place. With regular use of a SENTRY® Fiproguard® topical treatment, these unwelcomed guests will soon be a thing of the past. Read on to learn more about these pests and the dangers they pose to your pets and home.

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Identification

How do you identify fleas and ticks?

Just think about fleas and ticks and you itch all over. Ick! But don't worry — you've come to the right place. With regular use of a SENTRY® Fiproguard® topical products, these unwelcomed guests will soon be a thing of the past.

Ready to get started?

This quick video shows you how to identify fleas and ticks on your pet.

Lifecycle

  • Pests

Flea Lifecycle

Flea infestations begin long before you see biting, jumping bugs. In fact, the active adults make up only 1% of an infestation, which means that 99% are pre-adult fleas lurking around your pet, home and yard!

  1. Eggs: In a single day, an adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs. The eggs are not sticky, so they quickly fall off your pet and into your carpet, furniture, pet’s bed and yard. They hatch from 2 to 21 days after they are laid. Then the real problems begin.
  2. Larvae: Once the eggs hatch, they are larvae. These nasty little things head for the dark places in your home and feast on flea dirt — flea feces that contain digested blood from your pet. Larvae are so small that they are almost invisible, and they settle deep into carpets and furniture. Even vacuuming won’t remove them all.
  3. Pupae: Immature fleas, or pupae, spend about 8-9 days in their cocoon and can remain in this stage for up to one year! They are growing and waiting to emerge … to bite your pet and wreak havoc in your home.
  4. Adult Flea: Adult fleas like warm, humid places and stay on the same host pet their entire lives. This is the most annoying stage because adult fleas bite, feeding on the blood of your pet. They can survive for up to a year, just laying in wait. Once they feed, female fleas lay their eggs and the cycle starts over again.

Tick Lifecycle

Ticks have two things on their minds: biting and blood. They aren’t picky eaters either: they can use yours or your pet’s blood to fuel their growth. They bite down and bury their heads into the skin while the ingest blood and can transmit disease from animal to animal or human to human at any stage of development.

  1. Eggs: Depending on the species of tick, adult females can lay 100 eggs or even upwards of 2,000 to 5,000 eggs at a time! Tick eggs will hatch in about 14 days.
  2. Larvae: The six-legged larvae live and feed on animals or humans for about a week before detaching and then molting (shredding) anywhere from one week to eight months later. The larvae then become eight-legged nymphs.
  3. Nymph: Nymphs feed on animals, gorge for three to 11 days, detach and molt about a month later — depending on the species and environmental conditions.
  4. Adult Tick: Adult ticks climb up grass and plants and hold their legs up to sense or “look for” their prey. They hop on board an unsuspecting pet or person and feed. An adult female tick can increase her size up to 100 times her original weight while feeding! After feeding she mates and lays eggs, starting the cycle over again.

Types

  • Pests

Types of Fleas

While variety is the spice of life... it can also be a bad thing, especially when it comes to fleas.

  1. There are more than 2,000 varieties of fleas in the world, and more than 200 types in the US. While each type of flea has different characteristics, they are usually classified by the type of animal they live on - dog fleas, cat fleas, rat fleas and so on.
  2. The most common flea in the US is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis.) They live on both dogs and cats, so if you have these biting bad boys around, you're probably fighting against the cat flea.

Type of Ticks

There are several types of ticks. All of them feed on blood and can spread disease to animals and people.

  1. Deer tick. Deer ticks can carry Lyme disease, which is potentially fatal in humans and animals. Adult deer ticks are tiny - about the size of a sesame seed. Males are black and females have a dark red abdomen and a black shield near the head. Females swell to double in size when fully engorged after feeding.
  2. Brown dog tick. This tick almost exclusively attacks dogs. If a dog is infested, the overflow of ticks can be seen on walls and furniture!
  3. American dog tick. This tick is found across North America and attacks dogs, cats, humans, cattle, horses and other large mammals.
  4. Lone star tick. These ticks aren't picky and will attack mammals and birds alike. The female of this variety has a tell tale white spot.

Diseases

  • Pests

Diseases Spread by Fleas

Besides being annoying and potentially embarrassing (no one wants dinner guests scratching their ankles), fleas can cause big problems. Flea bites can cause skin disorders, infections, and allergies for pets and people. They also spread diseases such as:

  1. Tapeworms. If a flea is infected with tapeworm larvae and is then eaten by the animal it calls home, the animal can easily contract tapeworms. Some pets eat 50-90% of the fleas on their bodies through grooming, making tapeworms a widespread problem. Tapeworms are zoonotic - they can be spread from pets to people.
  2. Tularemia. This disease is caused by bacteria and spread by fleas and ticks to pets and people. Symptoms include an open ulcer near the flea bite, swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
  3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This disease is spread by fleas and ticks. It is potentially fatal and infects both pets and humans. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, and a rash around wrists and ankles.
  4. Q Fever. This is carried primarily by rat fleas and usually infects humans. It can also infect wild rodents, rabbits, and some domestic animals such as dogs and cats.

Diseases Spread by Ticks

With their bloodsucking ways, thinking about ticks is enough to get your imagination going and your skin crawling. But they also pose more serious problems by spreading diseases to both pets and people.

  1. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease is spread by fleas and ticks. It is potentially fatal and infects both dogs and humans. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, nausea, and vomiting. A rash is usually seen around wrists and ankles.
  2. Lyme disease. Bacteria spread from the bite of an infected tick causes Lyme disease. While it can be treated with antibiotics, left untreated it can be fatal to humans, dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Even treated, it can also lead to ongoing rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms. Symptoms that a tick has infected a human with Lyme disease include a bull's eye rash, one-sided facial paralysis, headaches, fever and swollen glands and joints.
  3. Tularemia. Bacteria spread from the bite of an infected tick causes Lyme disease. While it can be treated with antibiotics, left untreated it can be fatal to humans, dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Even treated, it can also lead to ongoing rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms. Symptoms that a tick has infected a human with Lyme disease include a bull's eye rash, one-sided facial paralysis, headaches, fever and swollen glands and joints.
  4. Texas Fever. This is also known as Redwater Fever and Tick Fever. It mostly infects cattle.

Removal

  • Pests

Getting Rid of Fleas

If you already have an infestation, don't panic. Getting rid of these nasty little pests is possible. The very best way to treat fleas and ticks is to prevent an infestation.

Regular use of a SENTRY® Fiproguard® topical product is essential to preventing fleas and ticks from living on your pet... or in your home!

  1. Treat the pet. Bathe your pet to eliminate dirt. Use a flea comb to remove flea dirt (feces) and dead fleas. Use SENTRY® Fiproguard® monthly, according to package directions. Never use a pesticidal shampoo in combination with SENTRY® Fiproguard® topical products.
  2. Treat the home. Washing pet bedding, vacuuming carpets, and treating with household sprays or powders are good first steps. Remember, read all labels carefully before using more than one flea and tick control product.
  3. Treat the yard. Don't forget to spray around your yard and treat around the foundation to kill any flea populations lurking outside. Again, read all labels carefully before using more than one flea and tick control product.

Diseases Spread by Ticks

With their bloodsucking ways, thinking about ticks is enough to get your imagination going and your skin crawling. But they also pose more serious problems by spreading diseases to both pets and people.

  1. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease is spread by fleas and ticks. It is potentially fatal and infects both dogs and humans. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, nausea, and vomiting. A rash is usually seen around wrists and ankles.
  2. Lyme disease. Bacteria spread from the bite of an infected tick causes Lyme disease. While it can be treated with antibiotics, left untreated it can be fatal to humans, dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Even treated, it can also lead to ongoing rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms. Symptoms that a tick has infected a human with Lyme disease include a bull's eye rash, one-sided facial paralysis, headaches, fever and swollen glands and joints.
  3. Tularemia. Bacteria spread from the bite of an infected tick causes Lyme disease. While it can be treated with antibiotics, left untreated it can be fatal to humans, dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Even treated, it can also lead to ongoing rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms. Symptoms that a tick has infected a human with Lyme disease include a bull's eye rash, one-sided facial paralysis, headaches, fever and swollen glands and joints.
  4. Texas Fever. This is also known as Redwater Fever and Tick Fever. It mostly infects cattle.