Enjoy a Flea and Tick Free Spring This Year
A warmer than usual winter means more fleas and ticks. And an even hotter summer is predicted making the possibility for infestations even worse. As two of the most common parasites found, fleas and ticks are also some of the most difficult to avoid. With ticks thriving in nearly any condition and fleas more apparent in warm, moist climates, these pests are able to run havoc inside any home.
According to this article from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), fleas can cause allergies and skin irritations in any animal on which they thrive. The female, while feeding upon its host animal, lays her eggs which are then shed on the ground as the pet moves. Less obvious at their initial infestation, ticks perch atop blades of tall grass and leaves. Known as “questing”, when your pet passes by, the tick grabs on and burrows its head deep under the skin where it feeds on your pet’s blood until gorged. Ticks carry diseases harmful not only to your dog or cat, but also to humans. Serious conditions such as Lyme disease can also be transmitted by ticks making their prevention especially important.
Since fleas are most often spread between pets or common wildlife, it’s suggested that you ask your vet about flea and tick medication for consistent prevention. With the warm summer ahead, treatment of your yard and areas where your pet is commonly active can also make a substantial difference in keeping fleas and ticks at bay. Mow often and keep weeds to a minimum to reduce breeding grounds which can lead to infestation.
While at-home treatments are a good start, we often forget that while our pets may enjoy frolicking with their friends at dog parks and pet sitters, these places are breeding grounds for fleas and ticks. If your pet must be in a boarding situation, or if you enjoy walking your dog at parks where other animals are present, take a few steps to ensure your pet does not bring fleas into the home afterwards.
Dogs should be bathed using a mild flea shampoo and cats should be combed thoroughly upon arriving home from any situation where fleas may be present. This will help to wash away any active fleas or eggs that your pet may have unwittingly carried home. Flea combs used to trap fleas and ticks through fur are an ideal addition to your pet’s grooming kit and can be used often to ensure your pets remain pest free. Make sure to clean your pet’s bedding and housing areas weekly. Use a vacuum with a brush head to properly clean dog or cat houses, and wash afterwards using a mild detergent. Be sure to dry these areas thoroughly before your pet returns to them for use.
If you’ve noticed more fleas and ticks in your yard or inside your home this year, vacuum and dust your floors and furniture frequently. Be sure to use vet approved flea and tick medication regularly so you and your pet can enjoy a flea and tick free spring. How about it? Do you think that the warmer spring temperatures are causing an increase in fleas and ticks? Share you experiences below.