Pet Pests More Than a Nuisance This SeasonNPMA Staff
Monday, June 13, 2011
Plenty of pests pose health risks to humans, but there are
also those that can be dangerous for other beloved family members
pets. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) advises that
summer is prime season for ticks and fleas, which
pose serious health risks to pets.
Ticks are vectors of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted
fever, which can be transmitted to humans, but they can also cause
tick paralysis in dogs. This can cause muscle weakness, loss of
coordination and even death if the chest muscles become paralyzed,
causing respiratory failure.
Though often thought of as an itchy annoyance, fleas also pose a
serious health threat to pets if left unchecked. Beyond the fact
that they breed with lightning speed, fleas saliva can cause
anemia, dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms.
While pet owners enjoy playing in the yard and walking in the
woods with their animals, they should also be aware of the dangers
their pet could encounter, said Missy Henriksen, vice president of
public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. It's
important for owners to be vigilant about inspecting their pets
frequently throughout the season.
NPMA offers the following tips to prevent 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
encountering fleas and ticks
- 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 frequently
- Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture
- Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle
- Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest
professional immediately to treat the problem.
For more information or to find a professional, visit
NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's
commitment to the protection of public health, food and