April: Heartworm Awareness Month

April: Heartworm Awareness Month

Spring is upon us which means more barbecues, relaxing by the pool, and playing outside!  Making outdoor spaces enjoyable for the whole family is a high priority for us at Mosquito Joe, even for our friends with four legs.  April is Heartworm Awareness Month, something that affects a large number of families’ pets each year.

What Are They?

Heartworms are a parasite that can live in the major organs of an animal’s body such as the heart, lungs, and connected vessels.  Pets can contract heartworms after being bitten by infected mosquitoes.

Risk Areas

While heartworms are an issue in much of the United States, the highest reported cases are in the southeast, especially Gulf Coast areas.  This is due to a number of factors: warmer climates that make transmission from mosquitoes much easier and the number of wildlife carriers in the area.

Prevention

One way to protect your pets is to get them tested regularly and to follow a veterinarian’s recommendation and have a prevention regimen in place.  The American Heartworm Society recommends getting puppies aged 7 months and older tested for heartworms every 12 months and taking preventative medication once a month.  Although cats are less likely to contract heartworms as they are atypical hosts, it is important to have cats tested regularly for early detection.

Our barrier-treatment sprays can be an added layer of defense as they provide relief and protection from mosquitoes for 21 days.  With a regular schedule of treatments, especially during the peak mosquito season, you can keep your family and pets protected from mosquitoes and the health risks they carry.

You can also lower the mosquito population near your home by:

  • Emptying standing water sources. Tires, puddles, bird baths, even children’s toys can be prime breeding ground for mosquitoes
  • Cleaning gutters regularly
  • Cut grass and shrubs short
  • Drill holes in tires swings, trash cans or recycle bins so water drains out
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets
  • Make sure your lawn is weed free and avoid overgrown vegetation

Once you’ve had a visit from your local Joe and have a mosquito-free yard, it’s time to enjoy it!  That goes for your four legged family members too, so here’s a list of fun games to play outside with your dog! You probably have some of these items already laying around the house or garage, so head outside for more wagging and less swatting.

For a Mosquito Joe location in your area or more information on the services we offer, click here.  To find more information on heartworms, visit the American Heartworm Society.

 

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