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5 Harmful Pests for Your Pet

Most of us take really good care of our dogs and cats, but there are plenty of pests out there that can cause serious harm to our family friends if we’re not extra careful. These are some of the most dangerous pests to watch out for that could pose the greatest threats to our pets.

Luckily, there are pest control professionals out there who can help you fight off these pests and keep them away from you, your family, and your pets.

1. Fleas

Unlike other insects that cause excessive itching and swelling, fleas are able to jump about a foot off the ground Making it easy to latch onto your furry friend. Once attached, fleas can inflict massive skin irritation or even an allergic reaction to flea saliva, causing some pets to lose hair and scratch so much that they start to bleed.

Some fleas also carry tapeworms — a stomach parasite pets can ingest when they bite at a flea with a tapeworm egg inside them. Signs of tapeworms include what looks like white grains of rice around your pet’s anus or in their feces.

Keep fleas off your pet by checking them with flea combs and applying flea and tick treatments. Talk to your vet to determine the best treatments for your pet.

2. Mosquitoes

When mosquitoes are around, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them and on your pets. A bite from these little vampiric insects can cause a red, itchy welt on you or your pet’s skin. At worst, they could spread harmful diseases to your pet, including heartworm.

If left untreated, heartworm could cause serious problems, so be sure to take your furry friend to the vet for regular checkups. Because mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in stagnant water, you can best prevent problems with mosquitoes and avoid expensive treatments by eliminating any standing water near your property, especially in areas where your pet likes to play.

3. Ticks

These little eight-legged hitchhikers hang around wooded areas and in the long grass, waiting for something to attach to. After they have made their home on a dog or cat, ticks will feed on blood for days and can be pretty tough to remove.

Ticks can spread diseases like Cat Scratch Fever, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Fever (which occurs everywhere, not just in the Rocky Mountains), and Ehrlichiosis. If your pet has too many of them hitching a ride, they can even cause anemia due to blood loss. In rare cases, some pets can have a severe reaction to chemicals in tick saliva, which could cause paralysis in more serious cases .

Keep ticks away by checking your pet regularly with a tick or flea comb and applying tick and flea treatments. Consider a consultation with your veterinarian to find the best tick and flea treatments are best for you.

4. Venomous Bugs: Stingers and Biters

Ever been stung by a bee or bitten by a spider? It’s not fun for your pet, either. Some insects can cause a problem if your pet finds and tries to play with one of these venomous pests, so watch closely for them. If possible, it can make a difference to train your pet to stay away from these pests that could pose a threat.

If your pet is bitten or stung, seek help from a vet right away. Identification can help the treatment process of spider, scorpion, and centipede bites, so either bring along a good-quality photo or the pests’ body.

Centipedes

Although their 20-25 pairs of spiky legs and venomous pincers make them look like the stuff of nightmares, most centipedes don’t pose much of a threat to most pets. However, the larger and more colorful they are, the bigger punch they pack.

If left untreated, the rarer effects of bites from a big centipede can include necrosis — in other words, the death of affected skin and muscle — and the rarest cases include muscle spasms and heart attacks.

The best way to avoid centipedes is to keep pest levels around your house low. Centipedes hunt other insects and will eat just about anything they can catch, so getting your house sprayed for bugs can keep the centipede activity down and protect you and your furry friends from attacks.

Spiders

The most poisonous spiders in North America to watch for are the Black Widow spider and the Brown Recluse spider. The Brown Recluse stays mainly in the southern states, but the black widow can be found further north.

If you know you have spiders around your house or in the basement, often the best course of action is to find and destroy any webs you see and get sprayed for bugs.

If your pet is bitten by a spider, take them to the vet with the spider body handy for identification, if possible. For most pets and people, the outlook for a spider bite can be good if you respond quickly.

Scorpions

These desert-dwellers usually try to avoid a fight before they seek one out, but get too close and their strong pincers and poisonous stinger will fling into action. A scorpion sting is usually described similar to a bee sting and can be even more poisonous.

Bees and Wasps

Some pets will try to avoid bees and wasps instinctively, but a massive bumblebee buzzing around a cat’s head or following a dog might pose a problem. The worst that could usually happen for you or your pet is an allergic reaction.

Ants

Most ants don’t pose any serious threat, but since ants are descended from wasps, some species carry stingers with venom that can be just as strong as a bee’s or yellowjacket’s sting.

It’s a good idea to check around your house for any ant activity and keep your pet from going anywhere that might be dangerous.

5. Wildlife

Raccoons

These masked bandits don’t just carry rabies and cause problems with dogs, cats, and other pets, they can also tear up your grass, destroy your property, spread ticks and fleas, and raid your garbage.

The best way to keep raccoons from your property is to keep your garbage sealed and away from your house. Keep your yard clean of branches, fallen fruit or vegetables, and be sure to cut your grass short.

If you live in an area with raccoons and other wildlife, it could be time to call the professionals for help.

Mice and Rats

Little rodents can often carry diseases from the places they’ve crawled through, including salmonella. Rodents can also carry parasites or infections like roundworm or toxoplasma, which can transfer to your pet.

The best ways to keep rodents away from your home is to keep your food sealed in airtight containers and to clean the home frequently and thoroughly to prevent stray food scraps or aromas from attracting them. Most snap traps work okay for a mouse infestation, but if you have a rat infestation, consider calling a reliable exterminator.

Skunks

Most famous for their stinky defensive spray, these critters are generally harmless otherwise, rooting around for grubs and whatever they can find. But skunks can also spread rabies to your pets. Dogs especially are at risk for finding and annoying a skunk, getting sprayed or infected with rabies or another disease

Exterminate Bugs and Exclude Wildlife

Dealing with an infestation yourself can be a pain, which is why Fox Pest Control offers free inspections and a no-obligation quote over the phone for our Home Protection Plan, which covers crawling insects, stinging insects like wasps, and rodents. Even if you’re unsure whether you have fleas in your yard, our Pest Pros have the knowledge and experience to perform a comprehensive inspection to determine a problem and address it.

Fox Pest Control also offers wildlife exclusion in Albany, NY. Get rid of skunks, make raccoons go away, avoid the problems rodents cause, and restore your peace of mind. Our humane and responsible trapping and exclusion work are family and pet-friendly.

When you call for services in Albany, NY, you aren’t just hiring a pest control company. You join a family that cares about you, your family, and your pet’s safety. We get the job done right the first time. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on April 10, 2020.

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