For many, a home is not complete without a pet. Pets are like family. They're always around bringing joy to their people, often eating, sleeping and traveling with them. They’re always loyal and happy to see their owners after a long, hard day at work. And because of all this, taking care of the family pet and keeping them out of harm's way is often a top priority of pet owners.
That's why having a pest control plan is good for your home. It's not just good for the people who live in it; it's good for the animals, as well. Pests can be harmful and a nuisance for homeowners, but some can also be harmful to your pets.
Pests that may be harmful to your pets
Indoor and outdoor pests can range from bothersome to harmful for people and homes. But some also pose a threat to your pets. Knowing what to look for can help you identify the most common pest varieties, even if they aren't visible to the naked eye. And you should also be sure to meet with your veterinarian so he or she can recommend prevention methods for your pets from common pests and the diseases they can transmit.
Pet owners don't just need to worry about watching their pets itch and scratch when mosquitoes bite. Heartworms can be an issue, as well. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm larvae to dogs and cats, which can make them extremely ill and possibly become fatal. Dogs are especially susceptible.
While exterior mosquito control cannot guarantee that your pets will not get heartworms, it can help reduce the mosquito population in your yard. This will help reduce your pets' exposure to mosquitoes and their bites.
Related > How to Help Keep Bugs Out of Your House
Ticks can carry pathogens that can cause Lyme disease (among other diseases), potentially transmitting it to dogs and cats if they are bitten. If left untreated, Lyme disease can affect your pet's joints and organs.
Controlling for ticks cannot guarantee your pets do not get Lyme disease or other diseases. However, proper exterior tick control can help reduce the tick population in your yard, therefore helping to reduce your pets' exposure to ticks.
Fleas can cause your pet to itch and scratch uncontrollably. Not only can this be hard for a pet owner to watch and experience, but it can also be dangerous for the pet, as nonstop scratching can lead to open wounds that can become infected. Fleas can also carry tapeworms and the bacteria that cause cat-scratch fever. An interior flea control service can help you take care of fleas that make it into your home. And here are some tips for helping get rid of fleas in your yard.
Though pest control can help with the above issues, it's important to note that it should not be viewed as a preventive method for heartworms, Lyme disease or other issues related to the pests mentioned above. Rather, for the most effective preventive measures, pet owners should consult with their veterinarians for heartworm prevention as well as tick and flea control.
What pest control is safe for pets?
As a pet owner, you may wonder "Is pest control safe for pets?" Professional pest control treatments, which is just one part of the overall pest control service, can be both effective and safe to apply in and around homes that have pets. That's because professionals are skilled in identifying the types of pests and the appropriate control methods. They apply the right treatments in strict accordance with label directions while keeping your children and pets in mind with placement of the products.
While you and your pets may not have to leave your home during pest control, it is a good idea to take these precautionary steps:
- Keep your pets put up while your pest control technician is at your home performing the pest control service.
- Keep dogs and cats away from treated areas for a certain amount of time while it dries, if instructed to do so.
- Remove food and water bowls, bedding and toys from treated areas.
- Remove or cover reptile cages, fish tanks or amphibian terrariums before treatment.
- And always discuss any concerns you have with your pest control technician.
How to help prevent pests
Preventing pests from entering your home is one way that pet owners can help keep their pets safe. Below are some preventive steps you can take yourself or with the help of a professional:
- Consult with a veterinarian for prevention and treatment strategies for any pests seen on the pet and/or near your pet's resting areas.
- Regularly check your pet's food, water and shelter for bugs.
- Bedding should be washed and dried following manufacturer's instructions if you see signs of insect activity.
- Toys should be washed and cleaned following manufacturer's instructions if you see signs of insect activity.
- To keep pests like ants and cockroaches away, store pet food in sealed containers.
- Clean bird and small pet cages regularly.
- Fix leaky plumbing and remove areas of standing water.
- Seal cracks and crevices to help keep bugs out of your house, including your window frames.
- Keep leaves raked, grass cut and bushes trimmed to reduce tick habitat.
- Check your pets regularly for fleas and ticks, especially when they are allowed outside of your yard or other controlled areas, especially during flea and tick season.
- Regularly clean fish tanks and reptile terrariums, replace water and check for signs of pests.
If your pet has been affected by pests, you should consult with your veterinarian before using any medications or repellents.
How pest control professionals can help
Though taking preventive steps can help alleviate pest issues, DIY solutions often fall short of complete control. That's where pest control professionals can assist, and the professionals at Terminix® are here to help. Terminix technicians are trained and knowledgable in identifying and analyzing pest infestations and using the tools most effective for the situation. And it's important that you tell your pest control technician which DIY treatments you've tried, if any, so they're sure to not "over apply" treatments.
When pests like mosquitoes and ticks are prevented and controlled, that's good for your pets. It creates a better environment for them and you. Contact your local Terminix branch to get started today.