We love most things about summer: baseball, cookouts, pool parties, the list goes on. But one thing we’re not so crazy about? Bugs! (Ok, to be candid, we kind of like bugs. That’s why we’ve made them our profession, but just stick with me here.) The heat and humidity of summer – especially a Southern Indiana summer – provides the perfect environment for a plethora of pests to thrive. These pests don’t just bug us, they bug our furry friends as well! Here are a few common summer pests that affect pets.
When most people think about pests that affect pets, they immediately think of fleas. Fleas are small, wingless insects that are usually reddish brown in color. They are parasites that draw blood from a host, and most fleas are introduced to a house via pets or other mammal hosts.
A fairly common nuisance, fleas are usually associated with cats and dogs, but they can be more of a problem than just for pets. Fleas can easily transfer to humans and they bite, looking for a meal of blood. Flea bites can cause uncomfortable itching, and they can also spread disease and cause tapeworms. A flea infestation can be frustrating because once they get into your home, they can be difficult to get rid of on your own due to their rapid reproduction cycle.
Ticks are arachnids, which puts them in the same class as spiders and other creepy-crawlies. These parasites are usually very small, barely bigger than the head of a pin, and they feed entirely on blood to grow and reproduce. Southern Indiana is home to approximately 15 types of ticks, including four species that have been documented to carry disease: deer ticks, American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, and lone star ticks. Ticks are well-known bloodsucking external parasites of humans, pets, livestock, and wild animals.
Despite the commonality of ticks, they can pose a serious health risk to their host, especially to humans. Ticks can carry and spread a number of diseases, including spotted fever, tularemia, and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can become fatal if not treated, and can sometimes be difficult to detect and treat, both in animals and humans.
Mosquitoes are more pests that affect pets. Just because Fido is covered in fur doesn’t make him any less attractive to mosquitoes; he is still vulnerable in places where skin is exposed such as his ears and nose. These tiny flying insects are known for their diet of blood, and the itchy bumps they leave behind on their hosts. They first start to emerge during the spring months, and continue through the fall. Their favorite time to dine is during dawn and dusk hours.
As with humans, a bite from a mosquito can result in everything from an annoying itch to more serious parasitic diseases. In dogs, heartworm disease is the primary concern.
Horseflies got their name from their tendency to feast on horses, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in biting other mammal pets as well. Horseflies are typically larger in size and prefer sunny areas where water is abundant. (This is why you might notice them frequently at the lake or near the pool.)
A horsefly bite can be painful for both humans and animals, but the tarm is usually short-term minor irritation of the skin, typically in the abdomen, legs, and neck. Despite this, horseflies are capable to transmitting disease such as anthrax, Lyme disease, tularemia, and the virus of equine infectious anemia.
Protect Your Pets from Pests
We aren’t vets, but we do know that many of these pests annoy our animals just as much as they bother us. Please remember to follow your vet’s recommendations on medications or treatments to prevent pest problems for your pets this summer.
Take the next step in preventing pest issues by scheduling an appointment with YES Pest Pros. We offer residential services that are pet friendly, so you know you are giving your little guy the very best care. We know your pets are a part of your family. Let YES Pest Pros help protect them (and you!) from common pest problems this summer. Give us a call or follow this link to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you!