Are Your Pets Crying for Freedom from Flea-dom?

Spring is the beginning of warmer days, longer nights, flowers blooming, and neighborhood barbeques. But you might not be thinking about the other season that creeps up as temperatures rise. Mosquito Joe season! (Also known as mosquito, flea and tick season.)  If you read our blog post highlighting ticks, you know tiny bugs can pack big punches when it comes to your health, your pets, and your home. The next target in our educational series (another of our targets in your yard) is no different. It’s time for a lesson on….fleas.

Why We Hate Fleas
Most people know the common annoyances of fleas for cats, dogs, and sometimes even humans. Their bites are itchy, their saliva can be an allergen causing rashes, and they can cause skin problems when your cat or dog scratches incessantly. What many people don’t know is that fleas actually carry diseases just like mosquitoes and ticks. Fleas find “hosts” and those hosts are warm blooded animals. Naturally they are usually dogs and cats, but they can also be opossums, rats, and other rodents. According to the ASPCA, since fleas can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood, they can cause anemia and a significant amount of blood loss over time. They can even cause tapeworm!

Did You Know?
We won’t call these “fun facts” since there is nothing fun about a flea infestation.

  • The flea was actually the cause of the bubonic plague in the middle ages!  It is still the carrier of the plague today, but thank goodness for antibiotics.
  • When searching for a host fleas can jump over 10,000 times in a row…the length of three football fields!
  • Fleas can bite up to 400 times a day!
  • A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs.
  • On average, a flea lives 2-3 months.

Flea Prevention and Treatment
With something this determined you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep fleas out of your home. If you have pets, veterinarians recommend a monthly flea and tick preventative given once a month during ALL seasons. Only giving your dog or cat flea treatments during spring and summer is not effective. What your vet might fail to mention is the first step in flea prevention is treating your yard. Our mosquito control services also kill and prevent fleas and ticks, so let Mosquito Joe be your first line of defense against these disease carrying pests. Contact us today for a free quote. We have no contracts and no obligations, just mosquito treatment solutions.

Once you have a flea free yard and pet, check out this fun craft project from Modern Dog Magazine for you and your four-legged friend(s)!

Sources: www.healthypet.com, photo credit

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Don’t Get Ticked This Season!

Here at Mosquito Joe, if we had to pick the one thing that gets us most excited, we would probably loudly exclaim “Warm weather!” We love the outdoors, we love flowers blooming, and while we don’t love mosquitoes, we do love the time of year when we get to start helping our customers again. This year, with the unseasonably warm winter season, our customers are going to need us more than ever. Warmer temperatures are fostering early breeding for outdoor pests and that equals a big problem for your backyard: more mosquitoes, fleas and ticks! Mosquito Joe is known for its conquest to eliminate mosquitoes, but awareness about our ability to help rid your yard of fleas and ticks is much lower, and since these critters can be just as harmful as mosquitoes, educating you about them is a high priority for us. This week, we have ticks in our sights!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ticks can carry the pathogens for ten human diseases…ten! Ticks can spread illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Anaplasmosis, which can cause fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. Ticks are among the most efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable amount of time while feeding.  Did you know ticks can’t jump or fly? They can only crawl. Ticks wait for host animals from the tips of grasses and shrubs. When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host. Like most people, you are probably saying “Gross!” at the thought, but click here about Tom Mather, a researcher at the University of Rhode Island who catches ticks (yuck!) to help us understand Lyme disease and how ticks work. We are thankful for guys like Tom out there who do those jobs that would send most of us running…and scratching.

As you probably know, our four legged friends can be affected too. Five of the ten diseases ticks transmit to humans can be transmitted to pets. That is why keeping everyone (furry or not) around your household tick-free is important.  And if you do find yourself or a pet with a tick, follow these instructions from the CDC:

1.  Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

2.  Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

3.  After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

To avoid all of this, use prevention methods to keep ticks out of your yard in the first place. Let Mosquito Joe spray your yard and set up a barrier for these intruders. Since our barrier sprays target shrubbery, we already zone in on where ticks live and wait for a host. Don’t let that host be you! Call us today for a free quote. And stay tuned for our next spotlight, fleas!

photo credit: messycupcakes via photopin cc

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