Check out this awesome guest post from our friends at Cattail Gardens on flea and tick control for your pets.
Dos and Don’ts You Should Follow to Keep Your Pet Safe from Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks can become major hustles not only to your pets but yourself as well. Fleas can be difficult to spot unless you look closely at your pet’s skin, under all that fur, but these tiny bugs could be able to cause a lot of problems. They can cause fur-erasing itchiness, anemia, and cause allergies. Not to mention the diseases that they can spread from animals to animals such as tapeworms or even the bubonic plague.
Ticks are almost as bad as fleas. Some would say that they are the worst. These tiny buggy-vampires not only suck the blood out of your pets but they too can cause terrible illnesses such as Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, as well as Lyme disease, to name a few.
That is why you should check your pet’s skin as often as possible, especially when they are acting strangely. There are also certain dos and don’ts you may want to follow to keep your pets safe for ticks and fleas before these insects cause bigger problems. Catch them before the worst spreads.
Flea & Tick Control: What You Should Do
Check your pet’s skin regularly or when you think something is up. This could be that they are very itchy which could indicate that they may have fleas.
Be aware that it can be difficult to spot fleas since they are tiny. However, if you see tiny black specks this could be flea droppings. A way to know for sure is to pick up the speck with a tissue, add water to it and if the tissue goes red then you could have a flea problem. Fleas only go to your pets when they want food. Therefore, the flea population could be in your house.
Check your pets for ticks before they come inside the house. Even if you are taking tick prevention methods there is still a high chance that these may not kill the ticks straight away. Some ticks may even hop on your pets before the methods have a chance to take a hold of them. Therefore, you should pet your cat your dog especially around their ears and use tweezers to pull out the ticks if you find any.
Be aware that ticks do not only come about in warm seasons.
It is a requirement to check for ticks all-year round since some can be able to live in warm spots of the house during the cold months. There are also species of ticks that come to life when a warm front comes about during winter. Other species of ticks such as the Brown Dog Tick can live all-year long on dogs regardless of the seasons or weather.
Speak to your vet about what type of fleas and ticks prevention methods you should be using. Some methods may not do the job well or at all, while others may cause more harm than good.
When you find a flea you should treat not only your pets but the whole house as well. Remember fleas only go on your pet when they are hungry. Otherwise, they can live in warm spots in your house.
Make sure that you keep your pets on flea and tick prevention methods all-year round since they can evolve to handle cool weather. Winter can no longer hide them or, at times, kill them.
Also, make sure that you choose a method that suits your pet. If your dog is a swimmer than using a topical option may not be a good choice since it can wash off. Some oral methods can contain food flavorings that will not work with pets that have food allergies. It is wise to discuss your options with your pet both you go out and buy products that will not work.
Always read the instruction of the tick and fleas prevention methods, each type can be different, and you would want to make sure that every inch of your home is covered. Ticks and fleas can be spread throughout the house by them latching on pants and shoes without your knowledge.
Make sure that you vacuum regularly and that you wash bedding (both yours and the pets) in hot water or a dryer. You should also make sure that your couches and carpets are vacuumed and cleaned very well.
Buy flea and tick-killing products. A roach killer can be helpful for your house but that will not combat the fleas and ticks since they are a different species.
Call an exterminator either for the yard or inside the house if it is the worst-case scenario. A little extra money would go along well to keep your pets and your family healthy and safe.
Take a close look at your pet’s skin even if they are outside animals. Ticks and fleas can hop between wild creatures to domesticated ones in a blink of an eye.
Flea & Tick Control: What You Should Not Do
Do not think that ticks and fleas only can harm your pets. Your family and you could also end up becoming a target. Flea’s droppings can carry Bartonella Henselae which is bacteria that can cause cat scratch fever. These dropping can be transferred into a wound due to a bite or a playful scratch.
Do not use prevention methods that are designed for cats on dogs and vice-a-versa. Certain chemicals can be harmful when they are used on the wrong species of pets. Therefore, dog ones for dogs and cat ones for cats.
Do not half the doses of medication between your pets. The dose is calculated with the weight of the particular pet in mind and cutting it down will not have the full effect needed.
Do not only use natural methods such as essential oils, lemongrass, peppermint, or feeding your pet garlic. These methods are not always effective and the best thing you can do is speak to your vet on what you need to have to kills these tiny terrors of pets’ skins.
Do not give your pet a bath for two days after you have applied topical ticks and fleas prevention methods on their skin. It needs time to soak in so that it can do the work it is designed to do. If your pet is a swimmer you may want to ask your vet what other methods would work better such as a collar or oral prevention methods.
Do not forget to truly check your pet after you two have been on a hike or have been in an outdoor area that may have a lot of fleas or ticks just waiting for the chance to get into your house.
Do not wait for a tick to get bigger when you find one. Regards of the size you should pull it out by its head as soon as you spot one. If the tick is gigantic then after you have pulled it out and killed it you should take them to the vet to test for tick-borne disease.
Do not think that once you used an effective prevention method that all is well. Ticks and fleas can come back especially if you do not know the source of them.
Do not use different types of prevention methods before you check with your vet. Sometimes taking an extra step “to be safe” may undo the good work that you have done on combating the fleas and ticks.
Do not let the flea collar have a hanging piece. Once you have measured the collar to fit comfortably around your pet’s neck and there is excess than you should cut it off instead of leaving it there hanging.
Do not skim on how much you need to pay to get rid of the fleas and ticks problems. This may cost in the short run but in the long run, it will be worth the cost to make sure that your pets are healthy and happy. Plus, you are not only looking after them but yourself and your family too, not only physically but emotionally too.
The above points should help you be better prepared in handling ticks and fleas that come on your animals or make their way into your home. There is more that you can do but the best advice would be to check on your pets regularly. You should also speak to your vet about what precaution to take to try to stop fleas and ticks feasting on the skins of your pets. Ticks and fleas may be tiny in size but what they can end up brings to your life is massive. Therefore, always be on the lookout for something that does not belong on your pets or in your house. And remember to pay attention to your animals when their behavior changes. The latter is not only to do with ticks and fleas but any other types of medical issues. Your pets may not be able to tell you directly when there is a problem but if you look closely enough they can show you.
Interested in learning more about flea & tick control and prevention in Jackson, MS? Contact the pest and extermination specialists at local, family-owned Synergy². We would love the opportunity to serve you with any pest needs you may have including spiders, fleas & ticks, stinging pests, and bed bugs.