Pets bring a great deal of joy to our homes, as well as an undeniable handful of challenges. Pest control must be carefully managed by anyone who owns a home, but particularly if they have pets. Without due care and attention, pests that make it into your home can quickly cause an infestation, and then you’ve really got a problem on your hands.
Here are five of the most common pests that pets can bring into the home.
One of the most common pests associated with having pets are fleas. Fleas love to live amongst the hairs of domestic pets, and will happily feast on pretty much any domestic furry animal you can think of. They can also be found on horses, rabbits and birds, but it’s less common.
Fleas pass between host animals quickly and easily, so if you see your pet scratching soon after visiting with any other animals or areas where other animals have recently been, be sure to check them all over. Fleas can’t fly, but they are great little jumpers and make quick work of hopping from one animal to the next. They can also lay thousands of eggs on a single host soon after touchdown, so don’t delay in taking action—infestations and infections can happen quickly if they aren’t dealt with.
After fleas, ticks are the next most common pests associated with pets, and owners fear them for good reason, as they can cause severe illness, paralysis, and death to a pet.
According to Raised Right Pets, ticks feed on blood, and they aren’t fussy—as well as making themself at home on pets, they will gladly feast on humans given half the chance, and woodland wanderers, in particular, must check themselves over regularly. The pet experts state, “Once they have found a host, ticks burrow under the skin, which can make it harder for them to be detected. The thing that makes ticks so threatening is that they are carriers of bacteria and disease, which can transfer into the bloodstream of their host.”
The most common signs and symptoms to look out for regarding ticks on pets are:
Additionally, one of the more common diseases that dogs, in particular, can contract from ticks is called Canine Hepatozoonosis, with symptoms including:
It’s important to check your pet’s fur and skin regularly for ticks, especially if you live in an area where they are prominent. If you find that they are making regular appearances, consider consulting with a local pest control specialist.
We all know that food left out can attract an army of ants, and they aren’t fussy eaters, making them equally attracted to your pet’s food bowl, and even water dish. If you see your dog licking air after eating, it could be due to something stuck in his mouth, so make sure to keep their food and drink bowls clear of ants and any other debris.
Ants can also easily invade your home by hitching a ride on the feet and legs of your pets as they walk through the garden, and once they’re in, it can be tricky to get rid of them, as they are fairly resistant to many pesticides. Keeping ants out of your garden is the best way to keep the problem away from your home, as well as covering your pet’s food after feeding time is over.
Cats are notorious for bringing “gifts” home in the form of wildlife kill, but many dogs give it a go, too. Any wildlife that lives in the vicinity of your home can potentially wind up on your doorstep (or worse, in the house). Struggling birds who have fallen out of their nest, rabbits, mice, and rats are also known carriers of fleas and ticks as well as diseases, so it’s doubly important to keep them away from your home.
Rodents are particularly interested in your pet’s food and feces, so be sure to keep your pet’s areas clean of both by doing regular pick-ups and covering food sources when not being eaten.
Wasps are most commonly associated with the potential for delivering a painful sting, or worse in the case of allergic reactions, but they can also do damage to wood structures if they start making themselves at home.
Wasps are also attracted to pet food and water dishes, so again, keep pet food covered when it’s not actively being eaten.
The best way to treat pests is to prevent them from making their way into your home in the first place. Any significant pest issues will require expert intervention from pest control specialists, but the hope is that booking regular preventative treatments will go a long way to keeping your home pest-free.
Additionally, do what you can to minimize the risks; keep pet food sources covered, regularly clean up dropped food and pet feces, and keep the area clutter-free as well to provide as few places for pests to hide as possible.