Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are both parasitic in nature, living on hosts much larger than themselves. Both fleas and ticks feed on the blood of their chosen hosts and are transmitters of various diseases.

Like other arachnids, adult ticks possess four pairs of legs. However, as larvae, they bear only six legs and gain their fourth pair after molting. Their territories are not defined by specific location; rather, ticks tend to dwell within the habitats of their preferred hosts. Thus, ticks may be found in areas as diverse as forests, grasslands and human homes. After hatching, all stages of a tick’s life cycle feed on blood.

Fleas are insects with six legs. They are wingless and incapable of flight. However, the flat bodies and long legs of the flea have developed to enable impressive jumping skills and the ability to move unimpeded through dense fur or hair. Fleas are found throughout the world, with several species residing primarily in households. Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis of egg, larva, pupa and adult. Only adult fleas feed on blood.

While neither ticks nor fleas choose humans as their primary hosts, both parasites are known to bite and feed on humans in the absence of other food sources.