How to keep your pets safe from bloodsucking pests!

breeding_places_for_mosquitoes

As Summer approaches we naturally want to spend more time outside. Unfortunately potentially dangerous pests like mosquitoes also like to hang out outside in the summer. Mosquitoes can cause heart worm, ticks can carry Lyme’s disease, and fleas are a nuisance as their bites itch.

These insect-vampires pose a threat to humans and animals alike.

Some of the sprays and repellents are quite toxic and can be harmful to our pets. Protecting your yard organically not only helps fight off these blood sucker but it also adds beauty, peace and harmony to your yard So how do you stay bug free without all of those harsh chemicals? Here are some tips we suggest.

 

  1. Hit em at Home

Mosquitoes lay eggs on standing water even small puddles can become a breeding ground for thousands of bloodsuckers. Go around your yard and look for any place that water gathers: uneven gutters, kiddie pools, those buckets you left behind the garage, kids toys left out in the yard.

For things like rain barrels, buy some window screen and secure it to the top to keep the mosquitoes from landing on the water. Large bird baths or garden water features should have a small pump to agitate the surface to discourage mosquitoes from landing to lay eggs.

 

  1. Plant an Anti- Mosquito Garden

Some plants  have properties that repel mosquitoes. Adding them to your garden can help deter mosquitoes from inhabiting your backyard

  • Citronella
  • Catnip
  • Lemon Balm
  • Marigolds
  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Garlic
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium
  1. Light it up

Citronella torches/candles are effective at keeping bugs away but only for about a four-foot radius so you’ll need enough of them to blanket the area you’re in.  Make sure to keep open flames at a safe distance from pets. Secure tiki torches so they won’t get knocked over.

Preventing Ticks this Spring

 

ticks

Ticks can cause harm to your pets and your family. As it gets warmer your pets are at risk for ticks. A topical tick preventative is always  best, but that doesn’t mean you should be less vigilant about ticks. Here are some tips to help keep your pet tick free.

 

Avoiding Tick-Infested Areas

Ticks inhabit dense, wooded vegetative areas–patches of overgrown shrubs, meadows with thick brush, and places where the ground is covered with decaying leaves. Be especially cautious if you’re passing through an area with low, thick underbrush.

Ticks climb low shrubs and grass until they’re 18-24 inches off the ground, and they lurk in wait for animals–like your dog–to brush against their perch.

Ticks have heat sensors that can detect the body heat emitted by a dog. The tick uses its legs to grab onto your dog’s fur as the dog passes by. It worms its way through the fur and  begins to gorge itself on the dog’s blood in order to fertilize its eggs.

Stay on the trails when hiking with your pet, and make sure that your pet remains with you. Avoid wooded areas and long grasses where ticks are common. If your dog runs off the trail (as they often do), make sure to check him for ticks when you get home.

 

Identify tick habitat in your yard.

If your dog spends a lot of time running about your yard, it may be at risk of encountering ticks.

Ticks  congregate on the fringes: where yards border wooded areas; where there are ornamental plantings and thick gardens; and anywhere shady, where leaves are decaying with high humidity.

Rake up decaying leaves, trim brush, and keep your dog from sticking its nose into wooded areas. Keep your lawn trimmed low (below ankle height) so that it doesn’t become a hospitable environment for ticks.

Certain pests like rats or racoons carry ticks, so secure your trash cans with strong lids.

Check your dog for ticks every day, especially if it’s been outside.

Groom your dog after a walk in the woods. Work through its fur with a fine-toothed comb to remove any ticks that are clinging to the hairs. Part the fur with your hands and inspect your dog’s skin to make sure that no ticks have already taken root. Feel for irregular lumps.

Remember to check between your dog’s toes, behind and in the ears, in the armpits and belly, and all around the tail and the head.

If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away. Use tweezers or a tick scoop, and be gentle. If you’re using tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible by gripping its head. Steadily pull upward until the tick releases his grip. Do not twist or jerk the tick or you might break off the head or mouth parts; you do not want to leave the tick head embedded in your pet’s skin. Do not squeeze to the point of crushing the tick, or you may may spread any diseases that the tick is carrying.

Check your home for ticks. Dogs can carry ticks in that do not latch on immediately, but instead spread throughout a home. Keep your eyes peeled for small, eight-legged, spider- or mite-like creatures.

Be aware that ticks may take a while to work their way through the fur before they actually bite a dog. If your dog comes into the house before the tick has properly latched on, there’s a chance that the tick will instead find its way onto you or one of your family members.

Ticks love thick carpets or fabrics–anywhere that they can hide. Vacuum your home if you suspect a tick infestation, using baking soda, or borax on your carpet can kill fleas and ticks, but use sparingly.