When thinking about pests, it is quite clear how they affect our lives – they bite, they cause damage to our homes, they taint food, and harbor diseases. Their effect on the human race is no surprise, but have you ever wondered how pests impact our 4-legged friends? Our animals need protection too, especially throughout the spring and summer months. Some pests are even more likely to be attracted to our pets or impact them in different ways than they harm humans.
Some of the most common pests that affect our pets, include:
- Fleas: These are the most common pests associated with dogs and cats, so much so that the common name is the Cat Flea, and despite their name they live on dogs as well. Fleas will spend the duration of their life cycle on the host feeding on their blood which will cause itching and discomfort.
- Ticks: These may be less common in urban areas, but ticks are a danger to adventurous pets who frequently hike with their humans in areas with lots of vegetation. Ticks potentially carry harmful diseases including Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Mosquitoes & Heartworm: While humans are well aware of the risks when it comes to mosquitoes, these pests also carry heartworm which is a harmful parasite that lives in an animal’s heart.
The following are a few tips to follow in order to help keep your pet pest free!
Brush, brush, brush. After walks or playtime outside, inspect your pet thoroughly especially if they have been in wooded areas or high grasses. Brush their coat to remove debris and insects (plus, this will help keep their coat shiny and healthy, too!) If your cat spends anytime outdoors, don’t forget to inspect and brush them as well.
Bathe regularly. Give your dogs a good scrubbing as often as you can, and use a shampoo that has a formula that can treat for pests.
Wash bedding. It is important to wash your pet’s bedding regularly in hot water. We recommend doing this even a few times each month. When washing their bedding, don’t forget to wash collars and plush toys too.
Invest in treatments. Consult with your vet to determine if a preventative medicine or treatment is recommended for your pet. If your pet spends a lot of times outdoors, it may be important to use a high quality flea and tick treatment to help ward off infestations.
Remove ticks. While brushing their coat, keep an eye out for ticks and remove them immediately. If you notice your dog or cat scratching the same spot over and over, it could be a sign of a tick.
Clean the house. Vacuum the house thoroughly and wash linens on a regular basis. Also, keep your home clutter-free to make it easy to spot any pests that do find their way indoors.
Treat the yard. It is also a good idea to have your lawn and yard treated for insects. Black Diamond’s Preventative Mosquito Service and tick treatments are great for the spring and summer months to reduce mosquito and tick populations on your property. This will reduce the risk for your pets to come in contact with them!
Keep them healthy. If you notice a change in your animal’s behavior, such as lack of appetite or decrease in energy, take them to see a veterinarian. These could be signs of Lyme disease or other health issues caused by pests.
We all love our pets and want what’s best for them, so treat them like family by avoiding and treating them for pests too! While your veterinarian is the best resource in preventing the diseases and hazards of pet related pests, contact Black Diamond to learn the ways and services we offer to make your home less attractive to the pests that bring risks to your pets.