With Spring fully in the air, April showers getting ready to bring May Flowers, it’s also likely your yard is starting to sprout. Weeds growing rampant from the February and March rains, or gardens starting to blossom. The long and short of it is this: life is returning to the yard. Unfortunately for us, and our pets, not all the life in a yard is benevolent and good. Some things living in the yard like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and others are pests that can do plenty of harm to both you and your four-legged friends. This time on the Acoma Animal Clinic Blog we are taking a look at some of the most common pests in our desert landscape, and how you can do your best to combat them and keep your pets healthy!
Pests in the Desert – Fleas, Ticks, and More
Perhaps the most commonly thought of pest when it comes to our pets is the flea. You’ve seen the telltale signs of them, the fervent scratching, the biting as your pet tries to get that itch that they just can’t fully scratch. Well, with the weather heating up, fleas are on the move. It’s time to get serious about stopping them, if left untreated your dog may develop bald spots, hot spots, hair loss, or infections.
If your pet has already exhibited signs of fleas then you’ll need to work hard to not only kill the ones on them but also remove the fleas living around the indoors of your home. Fleas are likely to lay eggs in the bedding of your pet, near the bottom of window drapes, under furniture. Then, you’ll want to use a pet friendly product of some kind to kill the rest in your home.
Ticks may be the creepiest pests. They crawl into a warm, dark place, take a bite, and hold on for the rest of their lives, burying their head into the flesh and getting fat on the blood. It’s downright awful! Ticks can also spread diseases including Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Lyme disease, and more.
If you suspect your dog has ticks you’ll want to do a thorough examination, looking especially in the pads of their feet, between their toes, and in their ears. These dark, closed off areas are prone to tick bites. When you find them, it’s time to remove them manually! The American Kennel Club has a good rundown of the best ways to remove ticks.
Scorpions might not be the first thing you think of when you think of a pet pest but if they’re running amok in your backyard your furry friend might find themselves in trouble! Scorpion stings have venom and if your dog or cat is frail or particularly small, it could be enough to cause serious complications!
To handle scorpions, go outside with a blacklight flashlight and hunt them down. Be careful! Their stings can cause numbness and other complications in humans as well!
Mosquitoes thrive wherever there is standing water, and sure that might not be most places in Arizona, but if there is a left out kid pool or pool of any sort, the possibility is there for them to nest. Mosquitoes, like fleas and ticks, also can be carriers for diseases and so a simple bite might grow into something far worse.
All that said, one of the best tricks to combating pests is of course: proper prevention. Giving your pet the necessary supplements, a flea and tick control collar, and the biggest thing: taking care of your yard! If pests don’t have a place to make their home outside, they won’t stick around long enough to find your pet for a meal, and so your furry best friend won’t track them indoors and make the problem immensely more difficult. We’ll talk about that next time on the Acoma Animal Clinic blog! As always, if you need to see a vet, give us a call.