Pet lover’s, who also live in the deep and humid south, know how expensive and time consuming it can be to keep your pets safe and free from insect pests. Mosquitoes that can carry heartworms and cause allergic reactions, while fleas and tick that carry a number of vector borne illnesses, as well as tape worms. A conscientious pet owner can easily spend $400 a year, minimizing they’re pets exposure to dangerous fleas and mosquitoes. In this article we will discuss the insect risks to our furry family members and ways to control infestations in our home and yard.
Both fleas and mosquitoes are extremely difficult pests to control in the warmer weather of the south. Given the opportunity, mosquitoes, ticks and fleas will completely take over your home and yard to make it their own, leaving your family pet as a 24 hour buffet. The ideal situation is to make sure that your pet has protection against these nuisance pests and that they are also controlled for the sake of your family.
To keep your pet safe from mosquito borne diseases: It is imperative that your canine be on a heart worm preventative. There are options for injections that can last up to six months, or monthly ‘pills’ that you are able to administer at home. Although, no product can claim 100% efficacy, this dramatically reduces the possibility that your dog will develop heartworms. You should also try to keep your family pet inside during high mosquito traffic times, like dawn and dusk. If you are using a topical flea and tick controller application, there are some that include mosquito repellant as well. There are natural options that can repel mosquitoes and minimize the possibility that he is bitten at all. It is said that lavender, peppermint and geranium essential oils repel mosquitoes. Other reported effective natural repellents include lemon, cedar, eucalyptus, myrrh, neem and rosewood. You can try this by putting a few drops between the dogs or cats shoulder blades or on their collar.
In order to minimize fleas and ticks on and around your pets, monthly topical repellants are a good option. Especially the water proof types for pets that are in and out of doors regularly. Natural repellants such as Lavender, lemongrass and geranium repel ticks. Lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and citronella are said to repel fleas. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to see if your pet is a good candidate for topical applications. Newly developed products offer fewer side effects than when they were initially developed. Be careful of strong pesticide applications on your pet, they can be toxic.
You must also be diligent about keeping fleas and mosquitoes out of your home and yard. Mosquitoes need moisture to breed, so remove all standing water. If mosquito insecticide sprays, mists, or foggers are used for treatment of your home or yard, remove your family and pets until the area has dried completely. Some products like Diatomaceous earth and Insect Growth Regulators offer control with less impact on our environment. Although, they will not kill the insect pests immediately, they will help you keep your insect populations under control.