Protect Your Pets From Pests

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

Protect Your Pets From Pests

Your pet brings happiness and companionship to your home, and you want the very best for your furry friend. You work hard to make sure that your pet is healthy, has plenty of exercise, and remains safe.

Unfortunately, certain pests in the LA area threaten the well-being of household pets. If left unchecked, these insects and rodents can cause real harm to your pet and to your family.

Learn more about these pests and how you can protect your pets from dangerous bites and diseases.

Rats and Mice

The Threat

Your favorite canine or feline friend is a natural predator of rodents. Most dogs and cats will attack a rat or mouse if they spot one. In fact, some people keep a cat or dog around because they expect the rodent population to go down as a result. Unfortunately, these people don't realize that the rodents hidden in the walls of your home or lurking in your yard can be a major danger to pets.

Rats and mice pose two major threats. The first is that rats and mice carry diseases that can endanger your family pet. If your dog or cat bites or eats a rodent, the diseases that mouse carries can easily transfer to your pet. And if the rat itself doesn't have a disease, it may carry ticks or fleas that almost certainly do.

Rodents also steal food from your cat or dog, endangering the health of your pet by contaminating food and stealing important nutrients. Rodents are sneaky, and you may not even realize that your pet isn't eating as much as he or she should be.

The Solution

Rats are secretive, so it might take you a while to confirm that you have a rat or mouse infestation. Signs of rodents include droppings, grease marks along the walls and floor, or a dead rat or mouse. If you're confident that you have rodents at home, protect your pets and take action immediately.

First, contact your pest control expert. A pest control company can quickly eliminate rodents from a home in pet-safe ways. For example, they may avoid using rodenticide in places that may affect your pet.

While you wait for the pest control team to arrive, make sure that your pet's food is sealed and out of reach of rodents. Place the food down only when your pet is ready to eat, and ensure that the food doesn't go unsupervised before or after eating time.

You should also take your pet to the veterinarian after you are confident there are no more rodents in your home. A check-up will help ensure that your pet is healthy and that rodents haven't hurt him or her in unseen ways.


The Threat

You've probably heard of the West Nile virus, which mosquitoes spread across America each year. But did you realize that mosquitoes plague pets just as much as they bother humans? Pets are also at risk of West Nile and other mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Mosquitoes transmit the diseases they carry when they bite humans or animals, and the results of the bite can be deadly. Humans who live in heavily mosquito-populated areas can use mosquito netting, bug spray, and heavy clothing to avoid bites. Your cat or dog has a heavy coat of fur that can do a lot to ward off mosquitoes, but pets still need your help to avoid mosquitoes as much as possible.

The Solution

You can get rid of mosquitoes near your home by eliminating any standing water in your yard or neighborhood. Mosquitoes are drawn to warm, still water, especially if it is dirty, so get rid of it! Keep pools covered and remove bird baths, cisterns, and other containers that hold water.

You should also contact your local pest control company, which can spray your premises and discourage mosquitoes from coming near your yard, family, and pets.

Fleas and Ticks

The Threat

These pesky little bugs aren't just annoying and itchy-they, like mosquitoes, can transmit diseases that can really hurt your pets. Ticks and fleas carry diseases like West Nile, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Pets can pick up ticks and fleas just about anywhere, but they breed like crazy in the summer and are much more likely to infiltrate your home during the hot summer months. Flea and tick eggs roll off pet hair and into carpets, bedding, and furniture, threatening other members of your family as well.

You'll know you've got ticks or fleas in your home if you notice scratchy bites all over your pet's skin-or your own. If your pet is licking, nibbling, and scratching itself repeatedly, it's time to take action.

The Solution

Because ticks and fleas are highly mobile and very small, the only truly effective way to rid your home of these pests is to call pest control. And while you wait, take your dog or cat to the groomer to kill any ticks or fleas that might be living in your pet's hair.

You should also wash all of the linens in your home, including your pet's bedding. Vacuum carpets, clean pet toys, and keep the house clean.

After you've eliminated the ticks and fleas, keep your pets out of tall, thick grass, a favorite habitat of ticks and fleas.

If you or your pets are being plagued by pests, contact your pest control company immediately, and schedule an appointment with the vet. Keep your pets safe, and eliminate those pests!