Pet owners loath the pesky bugs that plague their pets during the spring, summer and fall. We have many owners looking for quick remedies to remove fleas and ticks. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about these nasty bugs:
How Do I Know if My Pet has Fleas or Ticks?
Your pet will likely have an insatiable itch in one area or another and be plagued by it. Remember, allergies are also a common cause for itching and hotspots, so itching alone does not mean fleas. Look for the droppings of fleas on your pet’s skin and even the fleas themselves to crawl by. Fleas are known for their high hop, but they typically crawl when they are on an animal they want to remain on. Ticks are much larger and may look like a raised scab on your pet’s skin if they have burrowed in.
How are My Pets Picking up Fleas and Ticks?
While your pets might be getting pests from other animals, the biggest culprit tends to be their environment. Ticks love tall grass and foliage, while fleas love moist areas of the lawn. You might need to treat your yard if your pet continues to attract pests.
I’ve Noticed Fleas – Are They in My Home?
Unfortunately, if your dog or cat spends any time inside and shows signs of fleas, the pests are likely already in your home. Try sprinkling your carpets with Borax to kill off the fleas. Leave the powder on your carpet for several hours before vacuuming thoroughly. Throw away the bag immediately in case any bugs are still alive inside. Wash all cloth items, including pet beds, clothes or blankets that are on the floor or anywhere your pet has been. If fleas are in your home, you may notice pairs of flea bites near your ankles.
How Can I Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks?
Most of the old methods for removing ticks are really old wives tales (using a match, nail polish or Vaseline). If you notice a tick on your pet, carefully use tweezers to firmly hold the bug as close to the skin’s surface as possible and apply steady pressure to withdraw it. Flea and tick shampoos are available to help kill the bugs. Use a flea comb after bathing your pet.
How Can I Avoid Fleas and Ticks?
Most owners use an oral medication or topical drip to make the animal’s skin toxic to the fleas and ticks. Chemical collars can also be worn for prevention, killing bad bugs and discouraging them from residing in your pet’s environment. Pests tend to be worst during the warm months of the year, but treating your pet year round will help prevent infestation.
Fleas and ticks will be irritating to both your and your pet. If left untreated, they can cause serious health problems for your pet, including disease. Call us today if you think your pet has an infestation problem or you want advice for pet pest prevention!