With 90*F+ weather here on the east coast, it's safe to say that summer is here! My dog Kitsune loves the summer. The nice weather means more trips to some of his favorite places, like the local park and the beach. But summer isn't all about BBQs and sunshine. There are some things we, as pet owners, need to watch out for. Last month I posted about why it's important to watch out for fleas and ticks. They not only make your pet itchy and uncomfortable, which is bad enough, but they also have the potential to make your pet sick.
Most people, pet owners especially, know what adult fleas and ticks look like. But did you know that both fleas and ticks actually have a four stage life cycle?
The biologist in me can't help but be intrigued. The four life stages of the flea include eggs, larva, pupa, and adult. The four life stages of the tick are very similar, and include egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Since most people already know a lot about adult fleas and ticks, I'm going to focus on some facts about the other three stages.
Flea eggs: After feeding on a host, each female flea can lay an average of 40 eggs a day!
Flea larva: If your home becomes infested with fleas, an average of around half of the flea population in your home will be made up of flea larva. Although you don't usually see them, and most people aren't aware of them, flea larva look almost like tiny caterpillars. At this stage they don't drink blood directly from a host but instead eat flea dirt (aka flea poop) that adult fleas leave behind.
Flea Pupa: If you were comparing fleas to butterflies, the flea pupa would be similar to a butterfly's cocoon. During this stage, the flea is in the process of morphing into an adult. If conditions are not optimal, fleas can remain as pupa for months.
Tick eggs: After feeding on a host and mating, adult ticks can lay anywhere from 2,000 to 18,000 eggs!
Tick larva: Newly hatched, tick larva have six legs rather than the eight they will have as nymphs and adults. Unlike flea larva, tick larva hatch ready to find and feed on hosts. They must find a host to take blood from in order to grow to the next stage.
Tick nymphs: Tick nymphs look and act very similar to adults. The main difference is that nymphs are smaller than adults and they must eat/grow more before they will be able to reproduce.
Interesting life cycles aside, no one wants fleas and ticks on their pets! I mentioned in my June post that Kitsune and I were selected to try out a Seresto flea/tick collar. One of the awesome things about Seresto is that, if used as directed, it prevents fleas and ticks for up to 8 whole months! Perfect for pet owners (Seresto is available for dogs and cats) who don't want to fight with their pet to apply monthly flea preventative.
We've been using our Seresto flea collar for a couple of weeks now and so far so good! Unlike other years, so far this summer I haven't found a single flea on Kitsune. Before we started using the collar I would find the occasional tick on him, especially after our romps in the park. Since we started using the collar Kitsune has remained tick free as well!
You can learn more about Seresto collars and other Bayer products by visiting their website. If you are trying out Seresto for the first time you can click here to get $20 off your first purchase! Thanks for reading, and once again I hope everyone has a fun and bug free summer!
** This post is sponsored by Bayer / Seresto and the Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Seresto product, but Paw Print Pet Blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Bayer / Seresto is not responsible for the content of this article. **