With 62 percent of U.S. households now owning at least one pet, it is quite clear that our furry four-legged friends (as well as those with two legs and fins) are an important part of the family.
The Clark Man is a pet lover as well, and he would like to help you protect your pets from those pests, namely fleas and ticks, that can make your pets, and you, sick – and can lead to infestations in your home.
Ticks can be especially dangerous for pets, including animals that spend any amount of time outdoors. In addition to Lyme disease, ticks can also cause "tick paralysis" when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord, causing muscle weakness and loss of coordination.
Wooded areas or tall grasses are common tick breeding grounds, but other animals can carry ticks into yards, which allow pets to pick them up without ever leaving your property. Ticks can then hitch a ride into your home on your pet, where they can bite humans and other pets.
Fleas are another common pest that can affect pets, especially cats and dogs. The most common species of fleas plaguing California homes and their domestic animals is the cat flea. Their bites can cause itchy, red bumps that lead to excessive scratching. Fleas can also cause conditions such as anemia and flea allergy dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms.
The Clark Man recommends that homeowners take preventive steps to protect their pets this spring and summer when ticks and fleas are most active:
- After walks or playtime outside, inspect your pet thoroughly. Brush their coat to remove any debris or insects. Be especially vigilant if your pet has been in wooded areas or high grasses, where pests thrive.
- Bathe dogs regularly, using a shampoo that can kill pests.
- Be on the lookout for skin irritations on your pet, such as bite marks or red, itchy skin. Excessive scratching is a good indicator that your pet has skin irritations.
- If your pet has long hair, consider having it groomed regularly. Not only will this help to prevent insects from latching onto its long hair, and help you to spot any that do, but it will also help to keep your pet cool during the warmer summer months.
- Consult with a veterinarian to determine if a preventative medicine is recommended for your pet.
- Wash your pet’s bedding, crate, toys, food bowls, and sleeping areas on a regular basis.
- Keep your home clean and free of clutter to deter pest infestations and make it easy to spot any pests that do find their way indoors. Vacuum frequently and wash linens on a regular basis.
- Keep your lawn cut short and gardens well maintained to prevent breeding grounds for pests. Fleas and ticks often hide out in tall grasses.
Check out the Clark Man at the KHTS Home and Garden Show this weekend
Meet the Clark Man this weekend, April 28-29, at the 2018 KHTS Home and Garden Show at Central Park in Santa Clarita. Stop by the Clark Pest Control booth (# 113) and bring your pest control questions. We look forward to seeing you!
Get ahead of fleas and ticks this summer and protect your pet: Call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I’m The Clark Man. Thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.