With the warm summer weather upon us we are spending a lot more time outside – and so are our pets. While humans can often effectively dodge unwanted encounters with various insects, pets often need a little help from their humans to stay pest free.
Heartworm Medications offer Dual Protection
Mosquitoes can be a serious threat to our pets, especially dogs, but also cats. They cause heartworms, a condition that, if left untreated, can be fatal to dogs. Putting your pet on heartworm preventative will protect them from this terrible disease. As an added bonus, many heartworm medications have built in flea control. This lets you kill two birds with one stone as you keep your pet healthy.
Keep Food Tightly Sealed and Picked Up
Many insects are attracted to pet food including ants, roaches, and spiders. Store your pet’s food in an airtight container and only put out as much as he or she will eat at one time. Don’t leave pet food sitting out for long periods of time. The food will draw pests near or in your home as well as expose your pet to insects that can injure them like spiders.
Clean up your Yard
Clutter and overgrown foliage attract fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Flea infestations can kill a dog or cat, can cause them to become anemic and cause serious health problems. Ticks also pose a serious health risk to pets including Lyme disease (yes, both pets and humans can get this terrible disease). Remove any clutter, standing water, overgrown bushes or plants, and keep your yard mowed. This is one of the best ways to protect your pet and your home from pests. It is important to do this even if you are using heartworm preventative with flea and tick repellant.
Reduce Clutter in your Home
If your pets are inside you should keep your home clutter free and vacuum often. Make sure you pick up any food – for both humans and pets. Don’t leave water standing in the sink and check your pet’s water often (this is also a good practice for outside pets as well). By keeping the clutter in your home to a minimum you reduce the places where pests can hide.
Have your Yard Treated
Treating your yard for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can help keep those populations at a minimum. There are some products that you can use yourself, but a pest control professional can assess exactly what areas you need to treat and they can do it with no risk to your pets. Treating your yard for pests will keep your pet healthy and keep many pests out of your home as well.
Treat Pet Bedding
Make sure when you treat your yard that you don’t neglect the area where your pet sleeps. Use a pet safe product on all pet bedding and wash it regularly. If your dog is outside, use pest repellant bedding such as cedar shavings or specially treated outdoor bedding that is safe for pet use. Many materials used for outdoor bedding, like straw and hay, can attract spiders and ticks. Using old blankets that you wash or change out every week or so are a better option.
Know when to Call a Pro
Sometimes despite our best efforts a pest problem can spiral out of control. When you are facing an infestation it is best to call in a pest control professional for help. They will be able to advise you of your options as well as provide tips for reducing the infestation and preventing future problems. They also have pro grade products that are often more effective that the products that non-professionals have access to and they are trained in the safe application of those products.
Our pets depend on us to keep them healthy and safe. As a responsible, loving pet owner it is vital that you vaccinate your pet yearly, keep them on heartworm medication, and do your best to protect them from pests that can harm their health.