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The Dog Days of Summer: Pest Prevention
(NC)—Whether packing up the bags for a family vacation or loading up the cooler for a backyard barbecue, summer is the season to experience all that the great outdoors has to offer, which includes summertime pests. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes thrive during the dog days of summer, and can pose threats to humans as well as our four-legged family members.
For pets, fleas cause more than just constant scratching; they can transfer tapeworms and cause serious skin conditions. Ticks are vectors of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can cause serious illness for dogs, including respiratory failure. Mosquitoes can spread life-threatening heartworms to both dogs and cats.
“Not only can these pests cause serious illnesses to dogs and cats, but fleas and ticks can hitchhike on pets into the home, causing a larger infestation and increased risk for humans,” says pest control expert Alice Sinia. “Managing pests is all about taking proactive steps to limit their risks and presence.”
To reduce the risks from these summertime pests, experts offer the following tips:
• Check your pets frequently for signs of pests and keep an eye out for excessive scratching, licking and grooming behaviours.
• Regularly bathe pets during the summer, especially following extended periods outdoors or following playtime with other animals.
• Never let your pet sleep in your bed, and regularly wash your pet's bed and toys.
• To help control tick populations, keep vegetation in the yard trimmed, especially along the edges of your property.
• Work with your pest management professional to treat your yard for ticks, fleas and mosquitoes.
• Speak to your veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments, as well as heartworm prevention medication.
Consult your veterinarian and pest management professional for additional advice on how to identify, prevent and treat these summertime pests. Taking preventative steps can help make sure pests don't get the best of your pests.