Are Fleas or Ticks More Dangerous?

Author: Mosquito Squad of New Hampshire Lakes Region

Both fleas and ticks present their own disadvantages to humans, pets, and wildlife. Is one really worse than the other? Are ticks more dangerous than fleas?

What are fleas and ticks?

Both fleas and ticks are pests we do not wish to encounter in or around our homes. Both are parasites, meaning they suck the blood of their hosts and can pass dangerous pathogens. Fleas are insects, while ticks are arachnids. Yeah, arachnids – like spiders!

How are fleas dangerous to our health and well-being?

Fleas latch onto their hosts and are content to stay there forever. While that might sound like a long time, we should note that a flea’s lifespan is only about 100 days. The bigger issue is that they can lay about 40 new eggs per day for a few weeks of their lives. This is how major infestations occur. You see, flea eggs will fall off their host. If that’s a wild animal, flea eggs can be spread about your yard or wooded areas around your home. If that’s your pet, flea eggs can be dropped into your carpeting, left to hatch, and try latching on to your whole family. Flea infestations are difficult to get rid of. It’s much easier to prevent them.

What happens if a flea bites you? Like other insect bites, humans and pets can be very allergic to flea bites. Not only are flea infestations itchy and uncomfortable, but severe infestations can result in anemia. Fleas can also infect their host with tapeworm.

Ticks are more dangerous. Here’s how!

Ticks seek out their blood hosts, but generally only stay latched until they are full of blood or are found and removed. The hyalomma tick, however, is a very dangerous tick that will literally bleed its host to death by infesting in large numbers and remaining on the host through each life stage. They have been known to do so on wildlife, such as moose, and even livestock. Aside from bleeding their hosts, or passing disease, a tick bite might also become infected. This is usually not because of an allergy, but because tick mouth parts are left behind upon removal.

Other ticks, such as the deer tick and brown dog tick, will take a blood meal, sometimes leaving behind extremely dangerous diseases.

Dog tick diseases include:

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Canine Ehrlichiosis, Canine Babesiosis in dogs

Deer tick diseases include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Powassan virus

Like fleas, it is much easier to prevent tick bites than to try treating tick-borne illnesses in many cases. This is because some of the illnesses they spread can be present without symptoms or can be mistaken for other illnesses and remain undiagnosed and untreated. Mosquito Squad’s year-round tick control is the first and best step for tick bite prevention at home.

Also read: Do I need tick control in the fall and winter?
 

Reduce the number of ticks around your home with the help from Mosquito Squad of New Hampshire Lakes Region. You can connect with us right here to get your tick control underway.