In 1928, Captain Will Judy, a noted dog judge and publisher, organized the first National Dog Week. The purpose was to educate all dog owners in their responsibilities to their communities, especially those groups dedicated to caring for lost or unwanted dogs.
One such responsibility is making sure “man’s best friend” is kept pest-free and healthy. Unfortunately, our furry friends are walking hosts for many unwanted intruders.
- Flea bites are annoying to humans but can produce a serious allergic response in cats and dogs. Typically reddish-brown and about the size of a pinhead, a flea is very fast and can jump a hundred times its own height making it easy for it to escape. Treatment with a flea control product will be necessary to rid Fido of his misery, and don’t forget to treat your home, especially areas where the dog sleeps or spends time.
- The tick, an eight-legged bloodsucker cousin to the spider, is a real disease spreader. They carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis, tularemia and Lyme disease. Unlike the flea, the tick is slow and can be removed easily while it is crawling around looking for a feeding spot. After a walk through woods or thick grass, be sure to check your dog—and yourself—from head to toe for signs of ticks. Should you find an embedded tick, forget the nail polish or petroleum jelly, use protected fingers or tweezers to grasp the tick, rock it back and forth and pull it out. If a patch of skin is attached it is unlikely the head was left behind. Treat with an antiseptic cream to help prevent infection.
- Bedbugs are the “bug du jour” in the news. Just as they can infest your bedding, they can bunk in with your pets’ bedding, too. Bedbugs feed on the blood of animals, including people and pets. They are wingless, about a quarter-inch long, flat and appear translucent till they feed and become bright red. They can live up to a year without feeding. Look for them hiding in mattresses, box springs, curtains, couches, carpet, electrical switches, and even behind peeling wallpaper. They leave fecal and blood stains and molted skin. Once you have identified the problem, seek professional assistance in ridding your home of the problem.
Mange mites, canine lice, wasps and other flying insects can also be dangers to your dog. Prevention is the best medicine. If you notice your dog scratching frequently, it could be a sign of a problem. Keep the area where your dog rests clean. Bath and groom him on a regular basis, and check around the outside areas of the home for any signs of invaders and treat as needed. If dog is “man’s best friend,” then it’s up to man to make sure his friend is kept safe and healthy.
To learn more about how to identify fleas, ticks, bedbugs and to schedule professional pest management services for your home, contact HomeTeam Pest Defense at 855-855-4873, or visit our website. We also encourage you to join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn for additional tips regarding pest control for home.