10 Steps to Keep Your Pets Pest-Free
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Preventing Fleas and Ticks on Dogs, Cats and Other Pets
Let's face it, pets are family! It is important to provide our pets with regular exercise, a nutritious diet and lots of love and affection, but we also have a responsibility to protect our pets from health risks, such as those posed by pests. Ticks and fleas can make our pets - and us- sick and can lead to infestations in our home, but what are these pests exactly?
Ticks have been known to carry Lyme disease which in pets symptoms can appear as a fever, decreased appetite, swollen, painful joints, lameness or limping, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, pets with Lyme disease can develop kidney disease.
In addition, ticks can also cause "tick paralysis". This occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet's spinal cord, causing muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.
Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses, are more at risk. However, other animals can carry ticks into yards, allowing pets to pick them up without ever leaving your property. Ticks can then hitch a ride into your home on your pet, where they can bite humans and other pets.
Fleas are another common pest that can affect pets, especially cats and dogs. Their bites can cause itchy, red bumps that lead to excessive scratching. Fleas can also cause conditions such as anemia and flea allergy dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms.
Did you know? Adult fleas lay their eggs on their host, where they hatch and reproduce! To make matters worst eggs can also roll off onto nearby surfaces such as carpets, couches, pet bedding-usually anywhere a family pet has access to and particularly likes to lay.
Fleas can be particularly hard to find since they are so small and move very fast along the surface of the skin. In addition to being hard to find, they breed fast. One adult flea can lay as many as 20 eggs per day and the eggs typically hatch within 2 to 14 days. If not treated an you can have an infestation on your hands fairly quick! A large infestation of fleas can be difficult and time consuming to eradicate. A flea infestation in your home should always be left to licensed pest professional to handle. They will have the knowledge, tools and experience to treat the infestation safely and effectively.
The best way to protect your pets and your home from common household pests is to prevent an infestation before it ever happens:
After walks or playtime outside, inspect your pet thoroughly. Brush their coat to remove any debris or insects. Be especially vigilant if your pet has been in wooded areas or high grasses, where pests thrive.
Bathe dogs regularly, using a shampoo that can kill pests.
Be on the lookout for skin irritations on your pet, such as bite marks or red, itchy skin. Excessive scratching is a good indicator that they have skin irritations.
If your pet has long hair, consider having them groomed in the spring and summer, when ticks and fleas are most prevalent. Not only will this help to prevent insects from latching onto their long hair and help you to spot any that do, it will also help to keep your pet cool during the warmest time of the year.
Consult with a veterinarian to determine if a preventative medicine is recommended for your pet.
If you notice a change in your animal's behavior, such as lack of appetite or decrease in energy, take them to your veterinarian ASAP. This could be a sign of Lyme disease or other health issue caused by pests.
Wash your pet's bedding, crate, toys, food bowls and sleeping areas on a regular basis.
Keep your home clean and clutter-free to deter pest infestations and make it easy to spot any pests that do find their way indoors. Vacuum frequently and wash linens on a regular basis.
Keep your lawn cut short and gardens well maintained to prevent breeding grounds for pests. Fleas and ticks often hide out in tall grasses.
If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately, being careful to extract the head and mouthparts completely. If your pet has fleas, bathe them and seek the consult of a veterinarian.
If you suspect your home is infested with ticks or fleas, trust the professionals and give us a call. Our highly trained & licensed pest control professionals will assess the problem and develop a comprehensive solution to keep you and your pets safe!