What do fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes have in common. They all have the fetish for blood. Mosquitoes aren’t just the concern of humans. Dogs find them as annoying as humans do. Unfortunately, there are other things that our four-legged pets have to contend with.
The soft, warm fur of dogs and cats provides the perfect environment for fleas and ticks. These insects feed on your pet’s blood and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses. Both fleas and ticks are more common during the warmer months, but you can take steps to ward them off any time of year.
And each don’t just like our furry friends, they enjoy getting to our human skin as well. And we all know how irritating it is to be scratching all over.
Getting to know our adversaries will most likely help us find the flea and mosquito control that works best. Some facts about these pests are:
- There are about 2,000 flea species and subspecies; Ticks have about 825, while mosquitoes have over 2,500.
- Fleas don’t have wings but have bodies that allow them to run on the skin between the hairs; Ticks have claw-like mouths that make them cling to their hosts; Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood from their victims.
- Fleas can cause anemia, dermatitis, and tapeworm in your pets; Ticks can transmit Lyme disease to pets and humans; Mosquitoes carry deadly diseases like the West Nile Virus which affect both humans and animals.
- Fleas can lay up to a 50 eggs per day; Some Ticks species can lay some 100 eggs at a time, while Mosquitoes can have up to 300 eggs.
- The most favorable temperature for flea larvae is from 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit; Ticks thrive in woody, bushy and grassy areas, while Mosquitoes can propagate in still waters.
- There are a lot of flea and mosquito control available everywhere.
Some helpful tips are:
- Wash all bedding in hot, soapy water.
- Vacuum all carpets, hardwood floors, linoleum, and tiled floors, and throw away the vacuum bag.
- Choose and apply an environmental flea control like methoprene, or call a local exterminator.
- Choose and apply a spray, pellet, or non-toxic treatment for your yard
- Apply a flea and tick collar to your pet
- If you locate a tick specifically, be careful how you remove it- removing too fast can result in the body being removed but the head staying in the skin. Use tweezers or a tick removal device to have these removed. Treat the area after with a topical ointment so the open wound does not get infected
Then there are mosquitoes. We all know how annoying those are. But they can be just as annoying and harmful even to your pets.
A bite from a mosquito can be more than just an itchy annoyance to your pet. Although your pets fur coat does offer a bit of protection, those pests can break through the fur to bite them, and the results can be harmful. These bites cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and transmit dangerous diseases.
If you find your dog has a mosquito bug and it is irritating them, try the following tips:
- Wash the area with a mild soap and warm water,
- Use a dog or cat-friendly topical antibacterial cream or apply a cold compress
- If the bite doesn’t improve over the next few days, you’ll need to take your dog to the veterinarian for an examination. Your vet may perform a heartworm blood test, as well as treating the bite itself.
Treating these pesky bugs in a fast and a proper manner will ensure they don’t come after you next, while also looking after the well being of your pet.