Posted April 10, 2020
Besides plenty of playtime and good grooming, taking excellent care of our pets can include watching out for diseases, including those caused by insects. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bugs out there that can cause serious problems for our four-legged family if we aren’t especially careful.
Below, we’ve listed the most common pests that cause issues for our families and our pets, including a suggestion or two to keep them away. Luckily, pest control professionals are available to get rid of these pests and keep your fuzzy friends safe.
You might know that fleas like to attach to pets (or people) and suck blood, but did you know that they can jump about a foot off the ground? This allows fleas to transfer from host to host easily and cause skin irritation or even allergic reactions to everyone exposed.
Most of the time, excessive scratching is the biggest problem fleas cause, but these bloodsuckers can create other concerns. In worst-case scenarios, fleas could cause severe allergic reactions that make our poor pets scratch off patches of fur or bleed.
Fleas can also transfer diseases like Cat Scratch Fever and tapeworms. While biting themselves to scratch an itch, a pet could swallow a flea that has a tapeworm egg on or inside its body. Signs of tapeworms are white grains around the pet’s anus or in their feces.
A couple easy methods to keep fleas away are to closely monitor your pet’s play areas and regular grooming with a flea comb, especially after a romp in the woods or tall grass. Also, you can either give your pet over-the-counter (OTC) flea treatments or talk to the vet about prescription options.
You’d think mosquitoes would stay away from pets because of all that fur, right? But these flying vampires don’t seem to mind since they bite pets anyway. At best, mosquito bites leave an itchy welt on the skin. At worst, they could cause an allergic reaction or spread harmful diseases like malaria and heartworm.
Signs of heartworm include sudden weight loss, unusual fatigue after normal activities, decreased appetite, fever, reluctance to exercise, and even a swollen belly from too much fluid in the body. Without proper treatment, heartworm can cause heart failure.
Luckily, malaria is pretty rare in pets. But keep a close eye on them for signs of drowsiness, loss of appetite, and fever.
Keep mosquitoes away by getting rid of or regularly changing stagnant water around your property, such as places with poor drainage, birdbaths, outdoor pet bowls, neglected pools and anything that can hold water for a few days. That way, mosquitoes won’t be able to lay eggs near your pet’s play areas.
If they continue to swarm around your home, that’s where a good pest control company can really come in handy, so consider calling if you keep getting mosquitoes every year.
Just like mosquitoes and fleas, these little eight-legged bloodsuckers like to hitchhike on a host for days or even weeks and can be hard to remove without tweezers.
Causing a lot of problems for both people and pets, ticks spread illnesses like Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Fever (which occurs everywhere, not just the Rockies), Ehrlichiosis, and Cat Scratch Fever. In extreme cases, too many ticks can even cause anemia due to blood loss, usually in smaller animals. Rarely, some pets experience paralysis from severe reactions to tick saliva.
Keep ticks away by checking your pet regularly with a tick or flea comb and treating them with tick and flea medication, either with over-the-counter (OTC) products or a prescription from your veterinarian. Sometimes, the best way to keep ticks out of your house to call the professionals for additional help.
In spite of their nasty appearance, most centipedes don’t pose much of a threat to pets. Some people in certain countries even keep them as pets. House centipedes might look frightening, but they hunt flies, beetles, bedbugs, and other household pests.
However, the larger and more colorful they appear, the more poisonous and dangerous they are to your pets. Although a bite from a centipede is rare, a pet playing with a large centipede could get bitten, which is usually as painful and as problematic as a bee sting. Extreme cases can result in tissue damage, muscle spasms, and (rarely) heart attacks.
Keep centipedes away by eliminating their food sources. Since they are carnivores that hunt other insects, spraying for bugs in your home should make the biggest difference.
Ever been creeped out by their eight legs, the shifty way they move, their eight eyes, or those venomous fangs? If so, you’re not alone. The black widow and brown recluse spiders are the most venomous spiders in the United States. Luckily, there aren’t many cases of people or pets dying or experiencing long-term effects from spider bites.
Brown recluse spiders typically live in the Southern United States, whereas black widows can live further north. If you or your pet is bitten, seek medical or veterinary attention immediately to avoid any problems. Either take good-quality photos of the spider or take the spider body with you for identification, which will speed up the treatment process.
To get rid of spiders in and around your house, try knocking down their webs and spraying for bugs, which are their only food source. Spiders will typically leave on their own after that.
Even though their sharp pincers, scissor-like mouthparts, eight legs, and venomous stinger makes them look violent and evil, these desert dwellers actually like to keep to themselves. But if your pet plays too close to it, a scorpion could cause some serious damage.
Described as painful as a yellow jacket sting, a scorpion’s venom can be even more toxic and deadly. So, if you or your pet runs across one of these docile desert demons and is stung, seek medical or veterinary attention immediately.
While some pets steer away from bees and wasps, a daring dog or curious cat might try to catch one now and again.
Usually, the worst thing a bee or wasp sting can do is create a painful welt and some swelling. But just like some people, your pet could experience a severe reaction to the venom. Talk to your veterinarian about the best thing to do if your pet is stung.
Wasp nests or bee hives in your siding or soffits could cause serious problems. When treated improperly, wasps or bees could tunnel inside and break through the wall, stinging everyone inside. So don’t hesitate to call the professionals if you have a bee or wasp infestation.
Although there are many of them, most ants don’t cause problems for pets. However, there are some ant species, like fire ants, that have stings almost as painful as a wasp’s. Like wasps and yellow jackets, most of these kinds of ants can sting repeatedly, delivering even more painful poison to you or your pet.
Getting rid of an ant colony on your own can be tough, so look to the professionals for help.
Even though most people instinctively want to get rid of pests on their own, it can be time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating to control pests by yourself.
Fox Pest Control offers quotes over the phone and no-obligation inspections in person, all for free! Over 50,000 Americans have signed up for our Home Protection Plan, which covers stinging and crawling insects, and rodents.
When you call for Fox-certified services, you aren’t just hiring a pest control company. You’re joining a family that cares about you and you can rest easy knowing that all our products are environmentally responsible, pet-safe, and child-friendly.
We get the job done right the first time. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.