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Posted on 06-18-2014

Finally the weather is warm, summer is here and we are all outside with our pets! Unfortunately there are other pesky creatures that enjoy the warm weather too- fleas and ticks. These insects are appearing with more and more frequency in Lafayette, Colorado and all of Boulder County.

Fleas and ticks have the ability to cause problems that range from annoying to life threatening. These parasites have adapted well to make the most of their environments and be prolific at the same time! Here is a little information about the life cycle of fleas and ticks

The Life Cycle of the Flea: Ctenocephalides felis

Flea eggs are laid in the hair coat of animals and fall off the host into the environment. Larvae develop in the environment and feed on adult flea feces (blood) that have fallen off the animal host into the environment. Eventually, the larvae spin cocoons (often within the carpet fibers). The pupae can stay dormant for many months and are stimulated to become active by vibration, warming and increased carbon dioxide- often when a host is near. New fleas are mobile and it is possible they can survive a few days off host. Once a flea finds a dog or cat, a meal occurs within a few hours.

The Life Cycle of the Tick

Most ticks have a 2 year life span, go through four stages (egg, larva, nymph, and adult) and require 3 hosts during this time. Each stage requires the tick to have a blood meal before it can progress to the next stage. There are more than 30 species of ticks found in Colorado, but the 2 most common are the Rocky Mountain Wood tick and American dog tick.

There are many options for flea and tick control. Feel free to ask us about what would be best for your pet. We can help you make a decision based on the type of pet you have and their lifestyle. We at Lafayette Companion Animal Hospital want your pet to be comfortable and safe from the horrible diseases these parasites can transmit.

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