These bugs are really small in sizes – from 1/16 to 1/8 of inch. They have oval dark-brown body that is enlarged on the back and six legs that enable them to jump at long distances (up to 50 cm). If you observe it with an unaided eye, you will only see a small black dot.
The Characteristics and Appearance of Fleas
As a rule, fleas are transmitted from one live being to another by direct contact. The insects prefer invading the coat of dogs, cats, foxes, coyotes and sometimes may live on human’s head, hiding between hairs.
The Characteristics and Appearance of Ticks
Think that flea and tick have the same appearance? Take a closer look. A tick is an arachnoid, which means it has a round body and eight legs. It is not as agile as a flea – it crawls, but may run quite quickly to reach the victim or get away from danger.
What tick do is also sucking blood. But this predator can wait a long time for the right host: it lives from several weeks to three years. At different life stages, an insect may change hosts. As soon as it feeds up, it leaves the creature. Females can lay about thousand eggs in one time! But, luckily, it dies after that, letting the next negation to fulfill its mission. Ticks love cold weather and may survive even in chilly temperature, they sleep during wintertime, and become active in warmer seasons.
They can bite different creatures, including dogs, raccoons, foxes, cats, snakes, lizards, deer, opossums, cattle and human. How do they reach victims? Ticks live on the nature and hide on bushes and trees. As soon as they see a potential host (they are attracted to bright and visible colors like yellow and white, or dark brown and black), they jump on it, find a discreet place where skin is mild and thin, and bite on.
Comparison Table of Flea and Tick
Here you can see that the pests are distinct in many ways:
|Lifespan||Up to 100 days||From several weeks to 36 months|
|Appearance||Tiny oval-shaped body with six legs||Tiny round body with eight short legs|
|Where they live||Use cats and dogs, raccoons, opossums, foxes and people as hosts||Dwell in nature (forests, parks), and feed on practically on all living creatures including people|
|How they reproduce||Lay 30-40 eggs at once daily during the whole lifespan||A female lays about thousand eggs once and dies after that|
|Remedies||Special shampoos, cedar and lavender oil, vinegar||Lemon juice, vinegar, witch hazel, oils for aromatherapy (rose, neem, cedar), garlic, gasoline|
|Transmitted diseases||Tapeworm and bartonellosis||Lyme disease and spotted fever|
|Ways of prevention||Regular house cleaning, coat checking, special collars||Using of tick repellent inside and outside the house, shampooing, cleaning of lawn and vacuuming of house|
What Their Bites Look Like?
Flea and tick leave identical bites, but you still can differentiate them.
Fleas usually bite on ankles, wrists and the zones that contact with pets. The traces look like clusters of small red blisters (sometimes bubbles). In some cases, they cause itching and irritation.
Tick bites once and in one place. As a rule, an insect selects a discreet place with soft, thin skin (behind knees, at the inner part of arms, neck, belly, etc.). A bite is also a tiny red dot. People with allergic reactions may develop rash, swelling, nausea and paralysis.