April is a big month for us here at Mosquito Joe for two reasons: Heartworm Awareness Month and Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. When we say our goal is to make outside fun again, that is for our four legged friends too. Since our barrier sprays also eliminate ticks and fleas, we take pride in your pets being safe and itch free, too. Not to mention, many of us Joes are dog and cat owners, and knowledge is power when it comes to insects causing sickness in our pets, so we’re honoring the month with some important information about Heartworm, ticks and fleas!
Heartworm in Pets
Heartworm is not something to take lightly with dogs and cats. If you are a pet owner you know heartworm testing is done yearly at your furry friend’s annual checkup, and preventative medicine is strongly recommended monthly. But, do you know how heartworm is spread to dogs and cats if they aren’t protected? Mosquitoes! That’s right, they don’t just make us sick, they can make our pets sick too. The mosquito plays a vital role in the heartworm life cycle. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat, the larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite.
Ticks and Your Pets
We always associate ticks with the annoyance they can cause when they’re on your pet, but they can make pets and humans very sick. Humans can contract Lyme disease from ticks, but it can also cause the disease in dogs too. The symptoms are similar but present themselves differently in our pups than in humans. Here is what you can be on the lookout for with Lyme disease in dogs:
- Stiff walk with an arched back
- Sensitive to touch
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever, lack of appetite, and depression may accompany inflammation of the joints
- Lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen
Fleas are more than an annoyance.
Now that we know how sick ticks and mosquitoes can make us, we can’t let the opportunity go to mention that fleas are much more than an itchy annoyance. 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! Not to mention, if your pet happens to get just one flea, that flea can lay eggs every 12 days, and under optimum conditions, those baby fleas can reach adulthood and multiply themselves. Flea infestations are notoriously difficult to get rid of in your house, so avoiding them before they begin is key.
Prevention and Treatment
If you have pets, veterinarians recommend a monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative to be given 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, tick and mosquito prevention is treating your yard. Our mosquito control services also kill and defend against fleas and ticks, so let Mosquito Joe be your first line of defense against these disease carrying pests. Contact your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote. We have no contracts and no obligations, just mosquito, flea and tick treatment solutions.