Simple ways pet owners can keep their animals safe from fleas and ticks
The spring season is a time when all members of the family, including pets, wander outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and blossoming flowers. Unfortunately, it’s also prime pest season, which means pets are at risk of encountering hungry fleas and ticks that are in search of active hosts. Northwest Exterminating encourages pet owners to take precautions against these dangerous pests during the warmer months.
Fleas are more than just an itchy annoyance. Their saliva can cause anemia, dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms in dogs and cats. Ticks can spread bacteria to pets and cause tick paralysis, which occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord. This condition can lead to muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.
In addition to the health threats posed by fleas and ticks, both pests are small in size and extremely mobile, making them difficult to detect and get rid of once inside the home. It’s extremely important for pet owners to be cautious of these pests and contact a licensed pest professional if they suspect an infestation.
The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers these tips to keep pets pest-free:
- Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
- Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
- Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
- Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
- Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
- Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
- Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.
It’s important to protect yourself and your pets from ticks this season! Keep reading for more information on the little suckers!
- Size varies depending on the species and type.
- More closely related to spiders than insects.
- Can have either a soft or a hard body.
- Usually brought into homes by animals.
- Feed on animals and humans for their blood meal.
- Live in low lying areas such as grass, shrubs, and bushes while waiting for a passing host to attach themselves on to.
- Female ticks have about 3,000 eggs in the spring time.
- Ticks feed on humans, mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and birds.
- American dog tick
- Blacklegged/deer/bear tick
- Brown dog tick
- Lone Star Tick
- Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
- Ticks attach themselves to animals or humans to obtain their blood meal by biting the victim.
- Can cause irritation around the site of the bite, allergic reaction, or cause the mouth parts to get stuck in the skin when the tick is removed.
- Known to transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.
- When in wooded areas or tall grass, wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes.
- Use a bug repellant that contains DEET.
- Keep grass and other vegetation on your property properly cut and maintained.
- Inspect yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
- Inspect your pets for ticks after being outdoors.
- If you find a tick, use tweezers to remove the tick with a slow, gentle, upward pressure.
OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Call Northwest Exterminating for information on how to protect your home and loved ones from ticks.
Each warm season brings questions from homeowners and pet owners regarding ticks. We worry about our furry family members and ourselves if we plan on spending time outdoors, especially in or around wooded areas.
The brown dog tick is one species of tick that should be cause for concern, especially for those who have dogs. Although they feed on a wide variety of mammals, dogs are their preferred host. These ticks are unique in that they can complete an entire life cycle indoors. They feed on the host for about a week before dropping off and laying their eggs…up to 5,000 eggs!! After she’s done laying her eggs, she dies. The full life cycle of a brown dog tick lasts just over two months and generally are long living creatures.
A brown dog tick infestation can develop in high quantities and very quickly. Oftentimes, ticks go unnoticed on dogs until the ticks are spotted throughout the home.
To protect your home and your dog from brown tick infestation, here are some brown dog tick control tips:
- Good house and lawn maintenance goes a long way in keeping ticks and other pests from getting into your home.
- Take trash out of your home on a regular basis and put in a tightly sealed container outside of your home. Make sure this container is emptied regularly.
- Regularly schedule pest control will help to keep ticks and other pests away from your home.
- Treat your animals, dogs especially, with a tick treatment. Your veterinarian is a good source of information on the best products for your dog.
- Regularly check your dogs for ticks and other pests like fleas.
- Use DEET or other insect repellant when going outdoors.
For more detailed information on the brown dog tick, visit http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/medical/brown_dog_tick.htm.
They don’t call him Man’s Best Friend for no reason. Dogs, and cats (we can’t forget our beloved cats) are truly part of the family. We treat them and take care of them just as we would any other member of the family. That’s why it is important that we protect them from outdoor pests that can cause serious health risks to our furry friends. Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are all predicted to make a heavy appearance this season as the weather warms up.
Ticks are most commonly found on our pets. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and cause tick paralysis.
Fleas can cause itchy, red bumps that cause animals to scratch. Fleas are also easily brought into the home where they can invade your living space and reproduce. Fleas can cause anemia, skin issues, and even tapeworms for our pets.
Heartworms and West Nile Virus are some of the more serious issues that come along with mosquitoes. A bite can manifest into a full heartworm in 6-7 months in a dog, and 8 months in a cat.
Keep your pets healthy by following some of these tips to controlling ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes:
- Regularly scheduled pest control service in and around your home will help keep pests away that can cause risks to your pets. (Call Northwest Exterminating for our NorPest Green Pest Control service. Our program is kid and pet friendly while keeping the bugs away. Our Green Mosquito Program also keeps mosquitoes away while using Earth friendly solutions.)
- Check your dog and cat on a regular basis. Check for excessive scratching, bumps, fleas, and ticks.
- Keep vegetation cut and trimmed.
- Bathe pets regularly.
- Remove standing water in yard where mosquitoes breed.
- Vacuum frequently.
- Ask your veterinarian about Flea and Tick prevention and heartworm prevention.
Contact Northwest Exterminating if you think you have a problem with fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes. Keep your pets healthy!
How can something as small as a flea be such a huge pain? Pet owners are all too familiar with the annoyance of fleas because they make us AND our pets miserable. Fleas attach themselves to warm-blooded animals (pets and humans) and feed on their blood. A flea bite can cause discomfort, painful, itchy red bumps and can lead to an allergic reaction. In some cases, they can even transmit diseases like the bubonic plague, murine typhus and transfer tapeworms in pets.
To prevent fleas from becoming a pest in your home, clean and vacuum frequently. A clean home is a healthy home and will aid in the prevention of other pests as well. Cleaning will help to remove any fleas and their eggs. Maintaining a clean yard is just as important, especially if you have pets that go outside often. A well kept lawn with no debris or pet droppings will reduce the flea population around your home. Bathe pets regularly and apply a flea and tick treatment. Most importantly, call a professional exterminator if you have fleas in your home. A flea infestation can be very difficult to get rid of and is best left to the professionals so the problem does not continue to grow.
Interesting Flea Facts:
- The largest recorded flea measured almost ½ inch!
- Fleas consume 15 times their weight in blood each day. That is like a 140 lb. woman eating 8,400 burgers in one day!
- Fleas are the number one cause of allergies in cats and dogs.
- Fleas can live for about 100 days.
- Fleas don’t fly, they jump.
- A pair of fleas can produce 400-500 offspring in their lifetime.
- A flea can jump up to 8 inches high or 150 times its own height.
Got a flea problem? Call Northwest Exterminating for professional, effective flea control.