According to Animal Sheltering, there are over 180 million domestic animals living in homes across the country. That means there’s approximately one pet per household in the United States. Unfortunately, there are plenty of pets at risk of developing health issues due to pests that exist in nature and within the comforts of your own home.
When summer hits, you'll probably be spending more time outside with your pup. As Fido enjoys exploring the trees and running in the grass, the warmer weather also comes with harmful pests. Proper pest control is not only important for pets, but it’s also important for humans, too. Here are the most harmful pests that can affect Fido and your family.
Found in 63% of American households, cockroaches are resilient creatures that invade tiny spaces all over the home. While they may seem like nothing more than uninvited guests in the kitchen, cockroaches are common carriers for diseases in both humans and dogs. In fact, roaches, rats, fleas and mosquitoes can be vectors for developing asthma, salmonella, malaria, Lyme disease, and dengue fever. Although they are not naturally poisonous, if Fido develops a habit of eating roaches, he could build up poison in his system, which can obviously be detrimental to your dog's health.
The soft fur of your dog can provide the perfect environment for fleas as they prefer cool to warm temperatures and high humidity. These pesky pests will feed on Fido’s blood and cause serious health problems that range from allergic reactions to flea-borne diseases. While many pet owners use some method of flea prevention, animals are still more likely to develop tapeworms by ingesting fleas. In fact, fleas that have eaten tapeworm larvae and then swallowed by your pet, can lead to serious health problems for the entire household.
Just like fleas, ticks thrive on sucking blood from both humans and animals alike. However, they will cause far more harm to your pet as they can carry bacteria and diseases from other animals. These diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tick paralysis, Canine hepatozoonosis, piroplasmosis, and Lyme disease. Once they’re in their adult stage, ticks can live on a single host’s blood for up to a year.
Commonly known as disease spreaders for humans, mosquitos can also give dogs and cats heartworms. If an infected mosquito bites Fido, it may transmit larvae into their bloodstream, affecting the brains and nervous system of the animal. Other diseases that can be transmitted through mosquitoes include the West Nile virus, Equine encephalitis, and anemia. In addition, these parasites can cause harmful symptoms like coughing and weakness that will worsen if not treated. If your pup spends a lot of time outside or even in the backyard, do your best to get rid of exposed water as this is an ideal habitat for mosquitoes.
Venomous spider bites are dangerous to both you and your pet. This is especially true if you have small animals, such as miniature dogs or small-breed cats. Poisonous spiders like the Black Widow or the Brown Recluse can cause neuromuscular damage with a single bite. It's therefore important to keep your eye out for any spiders on your property and to get rid of them — at the source — as soon as you spot on.
Based on the ASPCA, thousands of family pets have become victims of accidental ingestion of insecticides and rodenticides. So, even if pests aren’t hurting you and your pet just yet, DIY pesticides and extermination can lead to more dangerous health problems. Not to mention, many insects and pests can cause lifelong indoor allergies, while others have poisonous venom that may harm Fido and your entire household.