With summer in full swing, everyone wants to spend as much time outdoors as they can and that includes family pets. However, there are threats to pets lurking in the great outdoors that Michigan homeowners need to be aware of.
Like people, pets are also at risk for the serious health complications that can arise from tick and flea bites, and Griffin Pest Solutions reminds pet owners to take the necessary precautions to protect Fido and Tinkerbell this summer.
Fleas are a common pet pest that can cause serious health complications. The itchy red bumps left by fleas can lead to excessive scratching, anemia, dermatitis and tapeworms. Fleas can be found indoors and outdoors and frequent areas where pets and other animals frequent in search of their next meal. Like most insect pests they require moisture to survive and prefer humid climates outdoors.
Once inside a home, fleas can become a problem and huge nuisance since they easily reproduce in bedding, carpets or furniture. And even though fleas are wingless they are prodigious jumpers and have been known to jump up to 6 inches. Fleas will jump on people’s shoes and clothing looking for a new food source if their preferred feeding source can’t be easily located.
Ticks are closely related to insects and spiders, and there are over 20 known tick species in Michigan (the American Dog Tick is the most commonly encountered tick in Michigan). In most cases, ticks feed on wildlife but pets (and people) can be bitten when they venture into popular tick areas including grassy shorelines, wooded areas, or fields near wooded areas. Ticks are rarely encountered indoors unless brought inside on the clothing of people or on the body of a pet.
Pets sickened with Lyme disease may suffer from fever, decreased appetite, painful joints, limping and lethargy, and in severe cases, kidney disease can also occur.
Good landscape management practices by homeowners including clearing leaf litter, keeping grass cut or creating wood chip/stone barriers between lawns and adjacent woodlands that are inhabited by wildlife may prove helpful in keeping ticks in check.
Griffin Pest Solutions recommends homeowners follow these tips to protect their pets from ticks and fleas this summer:
Check pets frequently for ticks and fleas – be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas and ticks often hide.
Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
Frequently wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.
Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently.
For on-animal prevention and treatment options, please consult with your veterinarian.
If you have a problem with or have questions about fleas and ticks call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@http://www.griffinpest.com/.