Keeping Your Pet Safe From PestsNPMA Staff
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
With the return of warm weather, everyone - including the family
pet - is likely to be spending more time outdoors in the coming
months. But pet owners need to be especially cautious, as insects
can pose a serious health
risk to dogs, cats and other animals during the spring and
Fleas, for example, are not just an itchy annoyance. Known for
leaving itchy red bumps, their saliva can cause anemia, dermatitis
and transfer tapeworms.
are known for their quick breeding capabilities and a handful on
your pet can quickly turn into hundreds in your home if left
unchecked," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs
for the National Pest Management Association. "Their small size and
mobility makes it impossible to detect them on surfaces such as
carpets and linens, but a pest professional can help eradicate an
can be equally hazardous to family pets. Female ticks can attach
near a pet's spinal cord, causing "tick paralysis." The condition
causes muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases
death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become
The NPMA recommends these tips to help reduce your pet's
exposure to fleas and ticks:
- Check pets frequently for fleas and flea dirt. Be aware of
excessive scratching, licking and nibbling grooming behavior in
- Avoid walking in tall grass where there is a greater chance of
fleas hitching a ride.
- Avoid tick habitats such as low-growing brushy vegetation along
the edge of the woods or a trail.
- Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
- Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.
- Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture
frequently. Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
- If you suspect a pest problem, contact a licensed pest
professional immediately to treat the problem.
For more information or to find a professional, you can visit www.pestworld.org.