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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Protect Your Pets from Summer Pests

The winter months are finally behind us, and your pets are just as excited about the warm weather as you are. Unfortunately, they’re not alone when it comes to thriving among the sunshine and spring flowers.

Fleas and ticks flourish this time of year, and after a mild winter and a wet spring, all signs point to a banner year for these pestilent pests. Fleas survive the winter by hitching rides on feral animals, hiding out in homes and buildings, going dormant or burrowing underground. As soon as the weather hits the 50s and 60s, these critters are out and about and ready to hitch a ride on your beloved pet.

In honor of National Pet Month, Arrow’s got some surefire ways to protect your furry friends from clingy critters this summer.

Curb Wild Pests

You can’t exactly wall out fleas and ticks, but you can prevent their carriers from entering your yard. Deer, possums, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and feral cats and dogs can unwittingly deposit ticks and flea eggs in your yard. Consider fencing or plantings that will keep these wild pests at bay.

Keep Your Lawn Kempt

Ticks love tall grass and wild areas full of brush and undergrowth. Keep your lawn mowed, your trees and shrubs pruned, and your leaf litter to a minimum.

Because fleas enjoy warm, moist and shady areas full of organic debris, raking your yard and removing woodpiles, grass clippings and leaf debris will give these itchy critters — and their rodent hosts — fewer places to hide.

Clean Up Inside, Too

Care for the floors inside your home the same way you would care for your lawn. Wash pet bedding weekly and vacuum frequently to remove fleas and prevent them from laying eggs. Once you’ve cleaned up, dispose of the bags to prevent these Olympic-level leapers from escaping.

Treat Your Pet With the Best

There’s only so much you can do to protect your lawn. Be sure to protect your dogs and cats by treating them with household flea and tick products, because one untreated pet can lead to a household infestation. Topical products can kill adult fleas, eggs and larvae and all stages of ticks.

Be Consistent

One missed dose of your pet’s monthly flea and tick control medicine can lay the groundwork for an infestation that could take months to resolve, so treat your pet consistently throughout the year — even during the winter months. Routine checkups with trusted vets also go a long way toward keeping your pet healthy and pest free.

Use Only as Directed

Whether you use shampoos, collars, dusts or sprays, read all instructions and warning labels before administering flea and tick products. Never use dog control on cats or cat control on dogs, because they contain ingredients that are harmful to other species. If your pet is young, old, small, sick, pregnant or nursing, prevent overexposure by making sure the product is recommended for your specific pet. Never use expired meds or incorrect doses.

Give Your Pet Some TLC

Fleas love to hide out near your pet’s neck, back, shoulders and tail, so protect them with some quality grooming time. Besides spot checkups, bathe your pet frequently with a pesticide-free shampoo and use a flea comb to remove fleas and flea dirt. Since these little critters can jump more than 200 times their body length, deposit any trespassers in soapy water as soon as you find them.

Ticks love burrowing into your pet’s warm skin, so check their ears and armpits whenever they come inside. It takes 24 hours for deer ticks to transmit diseases, so early intervention can prevent Lyme disease or other deadly pathogens. If your pet has been bitten, notify your vet and watch for limping, lethargy and loss of appetite.

Protect Yourself

When it comes to protecting your pets, you can be a big part of the solution. Whenever you are in tick-heavy areas, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that are light in color so ticks will be easier to detect. Use tick repellant that contains DEET or Permethrin, and always inspect your clothing and skin for ticks — especially around the head, neck and behind the ears.

Protect Your Whole Family

We hope you and your loved ones have an amazing, pest-free summer. But if you do suspect you have a flea or tick infestation, contact a pest professional for immediate assistance and relief.

Arrow Exterminators protects homes from pests with its integrated STEPS® Total Protection System™ — evaluating your entire home to pinpoint your pest issues. To protect your family and your furry friends from fleas and ticks, contact Arrow today!