Early, Heavy Pest Season Puts Pets at Increased Risk

Pests including ticksfleas and mosquitoes are already out in full force, their heavy populations and early arrival an effect of an especially wet, warm spring. Pet owners should be cautious this season, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says, as dogs, cats and other pets are especially susceptible to health risks posed by such pests.

Mosquitoes can transmit heartworms to pets, which can result in severe lung and heart disease. Ticks spread bacteria to pets that can cause diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. More, female ticks can cause a condition called “tick paralysis” if they attach near a pet’s spinal cord. This condition causes muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

The saliva of fleas can cause anemia, dermatitis, and transfer tapeworms in pets. Fleas also have an extraordinary ability to jump great heights, which allows them to easily hitchhike into a home while hidden in the fur of a family pet. Once inside, fleas quickly multiply and infest bedding, furniture and clothing.

“Pet owners should take special care to protect their pets from ticks, fleas and mosquitoes this season,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Always inspect pets’ coats thoroughly after they spend time outdoors and work with a pest professional if these pests make their way indoors.”

Read the full article at: www.pestworld.org

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