Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are the most important external parasites of pets, livestock and humans. Both fleas and ticks are very abundant, have irritating bites and are capable of transmitting disease.
Fleas are capable of transmitting tapeworms. Ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and relapsing fever. Lyme disease is transmitted in the United States by the deer tick, black legged, Gulf coast, American dog, lone star and relapsing fever tick. Lone star and American dog tick can cause tick paralysis.
Cat Flea, Ctenocephalides felis
The cat flea is the most important flea species in the United States,
attacking cats and dogs. Adult cat fleas are 1/16 inch long and are
usually found on their host. The flea inserts its mouthparts in the skin,
injects saliva and sucks blood. The bite leaves a red spot on the
skin. The saliva is irritating to the host, causing dermatitis and hair
loss in allergic animals, effecting dogs, cats and people. Life cycle:
American dog tick, Dermacentor variabillis
The American dog tick is one of the most prevalent tick pests in the eastern United States. Adults are about a quarter of an inch long; its shield has variable white markings. The larvae and nymphs prefer to feed on mice, whereas adults prefers dogs and other large animals.
Brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus
This tick is one of the most common pests of dogs. Adults are 3/16 inch long and are uniformly reddish-brown in color. All stages prefer to feed on dogs. This tick is prevalent in houses and kennels.
Gulf coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum
The Gulf coast tick is very prevalent in the southeastern United States. The sexes are very different in appearance. The immature stages feed on ground-dwelling birds. Adults primarily attach to the ears of large animals like deer and cattle.
Lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum
This is one of the most common ticks on humans and has prevented the development of some areas. The female lone star tick has a silvery spot on her dorsal shield. Its long mouthparts allow deep penetration of the skin, often causing sores containing pus.
Black legged tick, Ixodes scapularis
This tick is widespread in the southeastern United States and is often found along trails, paths and roadways. Adult black legged ticks are a dark reddish-brown color with dark brown to black legs.
Relapsing fever tick, Ornithodorus turicata
The relapsing fever tick is a soft tick and does not have its mouthparts visible from above. The relapsing fever tick mainly attacks rodents and consequently is associated with rat and mouse habitats. This tick is capable of transmitting tick-borne relapsing fever.