Fleas & Ticks 101
What exactly are they?
Frequently mistaken for each other, fleas and ticks are, in fact, very different organisms. Fleas are as many people recognise them to be – insects. They are also the ones with that famously ridiculous jumping ability. Ticks, on the other hand, are actually arachnids – the eight-legged group.
Both fleas and ticks are so small that the naked eye wouldn’t easily pick them up unless we were specifically looking out for them. Barely a few millimetres at their peak, they feed on blood to survive. They actually require blood at almost all points of their life cycles. Fortunately, they are external parasites: so the nightmares end on the outside!
What makes them dangerous?
Apart from the fact that they’re basically living off their hosts’ blood, the biggest reason why they’re such threats is because of how prevalently they transmit diseases and illnesses. These tiny terrors were actually behind some historically recorded pandemics!
They carry all sorts of bacteria and viruses that affect both humans and animals, sometimes even infecting humans through their pet animals.
Because of their size and how their bodies have evolved, they do not simply get washed away when put under a shower. They also seem to multiply effortlessly, quickly becoming a major problem when they make themselves comfortable within the shelter of your pets’ fur.
So how do we get rid of them?
Apart from heat, vacuum cleaners, powders, and specific medicated products, conventional methods of dealing with them involved chemical treatments that make use of agents like insecticides and chlorine.
These chemicals will almost always entirely eliminate populations of fleas and ticks. However, it is also because of how aggressive these chemicals are on organic matter, that it is harmful for us to come in direct contact with them or use them directly on our pets when they become innocent victims of these menaces.