Spring heralds the return of warm weather and the start of the flea and tick season. Both types of bloodsuckers lie dormant throughout the winter and wake when the risk of frost is gone. Fleas and ticks wake up from their nap hungry and mean. They go hunting for a meal and waste no time latching onto a passing cat or dog. In turn, your pet comes home with unwanted guests that make everyone's lives miserable. Here's a look at how to deal with the annual return of fleas and ticks.
Why You Don't Want Fleas and Ticks Gaining a Foothold on Your Pets
Both you and your pets can be made miserable after contact with ticks and fleas. Fleas bite repeatedly in a cluster-like pattern while ticks dig a hole into the skin and take hold. Both insects cause your pets to itch and scratch constantly. They get no rest and become miserable from the constant irritation. A flea infestation can cause a pet to become anemic from blood loss. When it comes to ticks, care needs to be taken when removing them from pets as they can leave behind body parts that need removal by a veterinarian.
Fleas and ticks are both carriers of diseases. Ticks carry Lyme disease that can affect dogs, cats and humans with flu-like symptoms and sore joints. Fleas bite relentlessly, can carry parasites, cause allergic reactions to their bites, and even carry bubonic plague.
Preventing Ticks and Fleas From Making Contact
Pets tend to pick up their unwanted hitchhikers when they walk through wooded areas, tall grasses, and cool, shady spots. Ticks prefer woody areas and tall grass or weeds while fleas like to hang out in places with plenty of shade and cover. Since it's impossible to keep pets out of these areas, you need to protect your pets just before flea and tick season gets into full swing.
Speak to your veterinarian about the best time to bring your pets in for preventative treatment. There are a number of products on the market that repel fleas and ticks, and you can discuss the best option for your pet with the veterinarian. Getting the right product to repel pests means peace and quiet for you and your pets through the entire season.
Make Your Home Inhospitable to Fleas
Fleas and ticks don't discriminate on where they get their food. Humans are just as tasty as animals and these insects will do what they can to get an easy meal. However, ticks don't last long when they're in the home and won't take up residence. Fleas can and do find ways to survive in the home. That includes getting into cracks in the floor, walls and furniture.
Vacuum regularly, use pet-safe flea killer sprays and powders, and contact an exterminator to treat the premises on a regular schedule. You'll keep fleas from getting into the home, kill the eggs before they hatch, and kill off adults quickly. Being proactive with flea control helps you keep your home free from fleas.