Tonawanda News

Features

October 22, 2012

Creepy crawlies

Tonawanda News — The top of my head is tingling, so I rub it. 

Then my lower left jaw feels numb. I scratch it just once. I then feel the back of my knees get tight and the hairs rise. I have goosebumps on my legs. I rub and I scrape a little more. The inside of my nose is now supersensitive. I flick it and soon after I feel microscopic ants crawling on my shoulder. 

Writing and thinking about fleas and ticks has some strange side effects.

Ectoparasites include ticks, fleas, lice, and mites. All of them live on the surface of a host and attach or burrow into the skin. Although summer is behind us and the nights are quite cold, these parasites do not have a clear cut-off point like they used to. Once the frost hits many of these pests die unless they managed to attach to one of your warm and cozy pets. 

In the summer the flea populations increase and as the weather cools down they seek warmer areas. Once the parasites infiltrate the home, all pets should be treated for about three months to be pest free.

Fleas are likely the most common external parasite to cats and dogs. They are widespread and are ravenous for blood, even more than vampires. Fleas feed frequently and because of this make multiple bites.

Being bitten by one mosquito is terrible. The area swells and our body releases feel good chemicals so we scratch it even more. Just imagine if we were bitten ten or 20 times. Besides discomfort, when our pets get bitten by fleas, other side effects can take place. Hair loss, the formation of scabs and flea bite anemia can occur. Secondary allergic reactions can also take place.

Tick control is very important as these bloodsuckers can transfer disease from pets to humans. Ticks crawl onto tall grasses or shrubs and wait for their hosts to walk by, usually in wooded areas.

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