Fleas And Ticks Essay

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Fleas and Ticks Cat Flea - Centocephalides felis Appearance Cat fleas are reddish-brown in color, and are about 1/6 inch in length or a little smaller than a sunflower seed. In the larval stage they are only 1/16 inch long worm-like and white. Behavior Fleas are ectoparasites and feed on the blood of birds, mammals, and reptiles. They have a relatively short life cycle and can rapidly reproduce. Once they have attached to a host they will begin feeding. After a female is done feeding she will lay several hundred eggs within three weeks. 30 female fleas on a dog can produce up to 600 eggs per day and over 4200 eggs in a week. Eggs do not stick to fur and so are easily shaken off when a pet moves or shakes. The eggs fall on the floor where they will hatch in a week or so. After hatching the larvae grow eating mostly the fecal matter from the adults. They are so tiny…show more content…
Ticks will feed on mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, but most often mammals are the hosts. Ticks detect heat and carbon dioxide and go toward the source. Once attached to a host they will climb until they reach the highest point or restrictive clothing. The tick then painlessly slips its teeth into the host's skin and begins feeding. Once feeding begins ticks release saliva that literally glues the tick in place so it cannot be removed easily. Once feeding is finished, which can be up to a week, the engorged tick drops off the host, lays eggs, and dies. Depending on the species a single female tick can lay up to 6500 eggs. Ticks are often associated with disease, and rightfully so. Ticks are carriers of two major diseases Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks of the genus Ixodes (Deer Ticks or black legged tick) are a known carrier and transmitter of Lyme disease, but there could be more. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is primarily transmitted by the American dog tick, but the lone star tick can also transmit the
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