There are many pests that can affect our pets, so what are they? During this article we have concentrated on the main pets we own, that have problems caused by pests.
The Main Threat.
Fleas are the biggest pest problem that our pets encounter. They are blood feeders and can live off most animals and humans. There are different types of fleas such as a dog flea, however the cat flea is the most common of fleas and the one we are most likely to deal with. Fleas can piggyback off other hosts to end up in your home. This is a typical example if you have been out on a dog walk with a friend and the dogs are together. The flea can jump from one host to a new victim. Another common cause is having foxes frequent your garden or if they have a den. Pets can pick them up in the garden whilst being inquisitive.
Once your pet has fleas it can very quickly escalate into an infestation. As soon as a flea has had a feed she will go and lay lots of eggs. Normally this will be around the skirting boards at the wall / floor junction. The flea eggs can lay dormant if there is no host to feed on. It knows if there is a host as the egg will monitor for heat, vibration and movement. Once it is happy there is a food source present then it will hatch and so the cycle continues.
A flea treatment is about breaking the cycle. This is not done at the egg stage as the eggs are pretty much impenetrable. The best way to eradicate fleas is by using a residual chemical. This is how the professionals do it. Many homeowners try shop bought cans of spray; however this is an aerosol and has no residual factor so only works as an instant knockdown. Our advice would be to consult with a professional, as a flea treatment can cost the same as a few cans of spray. You also have the luxury of having a professional completing the treatment and advising you. This will give you the best chance of eliminating the flea infestation.
You can try and resolve the problem yourself, which may be successful if the infestation is in the early stages. We advise you to give your house a good hoover concentrating on the skirting boards, getting the nozzle into those hard-to-reach areas. You must do this daily, if not more. In essence you are hoovering up all the eggs, pupa, larvae and adults. It goes without saying to not leave clothing and other items on the floor. You must also empty the hoover in a bin outside and if possible, rinse the hoover container with hot soapy water.
Outdoor Pets Attract Rodents.
There are a lot of outdoor pets that attract unwanted rodents such as rabbits and guinea pigs. The smells generated by these such pets are attractive to a rat as there will be a probable food source. This can be a problem for your pet, as rats can get vicious in a battle for food and so the rabbit can get injured. Even more so if it tries to fight back because it’s being territorial.
Chickens Can Be Pets.
Most would class chickens as livestock not pets, however some people considered their chickens as pets. So, what pests do you need to keep them safe from? As mentioned above, rats are drawn to chickens as they know there is going to be an abundant food source. Not only this but it has been known for rats to attack chickens by continually biting the backs of their legs. They become weak and struggle as time goes by and then the rat will attack the weak chicken. Another pest that can cause serious problems for chickens is a fox. I am not going to go into too much detail as I know foxes are a very emotive subject and there are lovers and haters. All I will say is if you have chickens then foxes will be interested so you must ensure they are kept secure with a robust hen house.
Chickens have other pest problems that require treatment if found. There are lots of different mites, associated with chickens such as bird mite or red mite. If you keep chickens, then you must inspect for these types of issues. They are blood feeders and can make life for your chickens very uncomfortable. Inspect and treat accordingly if any evidence of this pest is found.
Rats and mice that have consumed rodenticide are extremely dangerous for cats and dogs. The poison makes them toxic and when eaten there can be secondary poisoning. Unfortunately, you can’t tell a pet not to chase and eat rodents. It is inherent and natural to what their bread is for in years gone past. Some animals just like the chase whereas others will happily eat rodents once they have caught them.
The problem arises when they are going somewhere else to get their catch and it’s out of your control. A neighbour may have a rat infestation in the garden and be trying to control the situation themselves. Some active ingredients in rodenticide are very toxic and if used incorrectly a rodent may eat more than is required to kill it. Then it becomes the perfect host for secondary poisoning. The rodent slows down because of the rodenticide poisoning, they then become an easier target for a friendly pet.
If your next-door neighbours do not have pets you may want to have a chat and ask them nicely if they are going to engage in any type of pest control, they let you know so you can protect your pets. Obviously if you are doing it yourself you can monitor your pets and if needed, keep them away by fencing off areas.
Although pest controllers do not deal with ticks, they are still a pest as far as dogs are concerned. Ticks are naturally found in long grassed areas, so if your pet is picking up ticks then you could consider keeping your grass well cut. You should get advice on removing ticks or take your dog to the vets if you don’t know how to deal with them.
Is Pest Control okay for dogs?
When it comes to pest control, many dog owners are understandably concerned about the safety of their furry friends. The good news is that pest control methods are safe for dogs. However, it’s important to note that not all pest control products are created equal, and some can be harmful to dogs if ingested or if they come into contact with the dog’s skin.
One of the safest pest control methods for dogs is to use natural or organic products. These products typically use essential oils or other natural ingredients to repel pests without harming pets or humans. Additionally, pest control products are specifically designed for use around pets, and these can be a good option for dog owners.
If you’re planning to use a pest control product around your dog, it’s important to read the label carefully and follow all instructions. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog away from the area where the product has been applied until it has dried or dissipated.
We have only scratched the surface of the pests that cause problems for our pets. Hopefully this information will help you to keep your pets safe from these pests. Or at least give you a basic understanding of what infestations could be present so you can act. We would always recommend you work with a professional pest controller to resolve your pest problems or at least seek professional advice. This will keep both you and your pets safe.