Almost 60% of households in North Carolina have a dog or a cat in the family. Part of responsible pet ownership is keeping your pets safe—taking them for walks, cleaning out their litter, visiting the vet regularly, or building them a catio.
But did you know that some insects, snakes, and other mammals can harm your pet? If you’re a family with pets in Greensboro, read on to learn how to protect them from pests.
When it comes to insect pests in North Carolina, the tiny mosquito is one of the most insidious for humans and their pets. They carry several blood-borne diseases, which the female mosquito can transmit to your pet when it bites them—particularly heartworm disease.
Cats, and particularly dogs, can become infected with heartworms. These literal worms live in the heart and lungs of an animal, preventing blood from reaching these vital organs. While treatable, your pet could die if you fail to notice the signs quickly enough.
Thankfully, mosquito control is one of the most common procedures pest control companies undertake. It focuses on addressing standing water issues and getting rid of mosquito larvae before they can develop into adults.
Most properties require ongoing treatment to control this pest effectively.
Fleas and Ticks
Other insects that can damage your pet’s health include fleas and ticks.
These blood-sucking insects thrive in the warm, soft fur of cats, dogs, and other pets like rabbits. They are most abundant during the summer, but you can suffer from an infestation at any time of the year. Your animals pick them up when they go outside, bringing them indoors where they can take up residence—at least where fleas are concerned.
Fleas and ticks can cause:
- Skin infections
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Schedule flea control services if you think you have a flea infestation in your home. This includes an inspection, a custom control plan, targeted treatments, and follow-up.
Ticks are harder to avoid, especially for dogs. The best prevention is regular tick medication and checking your pets for ticks every time they come back inside from the outdoors.
Snakes pose a risk to all pets, especially to curious cats and dogs that enjoy hunting and playing outside. They’re likely to interact with a snake, not realizing it’s dangerous.
North Carolina is home to numerous venomous snakes, including:
- Various rattlesnakes
- Eastern coral snake
While rat snakes aren’t venomous, they can kill small cats and dogs by constriction.
Of course, snakes are wild animals, and it isn’t easy to keep them out of your garden. Also, many snakes are protected species in NC because they’re endangered or threatened. This means it’s unethical—or even illegal—to kill them.
You can try to make your yard less attractive to them with landscaping techniques. Or you can contact your local pest services for advice.
North Carolina is home to a few species of cockroaches, all of which can become pests in your home. These include:
- German cockroaches
- American cockroaches
- Brown-banded cockroaches
- Oriental cockroaches
Cockroaches don’t pose an immediate risk to your pets. In fact, they tend to scatter whenever your pet bounds into the kitchen or other places they like to lurk.
However, if these insects get into your pet’s food or water, they can transmit bacterial and viral diseases. In rare cases, they may gnaw on or bite your pet’s skin as they sleep, leading to itching and skin infections.
To ensure your home stays cockroach free, keep your house dry, cover or fill any gaps, keep food and drink in sealed containers, and don’t leave stacks of cardboard or paper around.
Rats and Mice
It may seem like a natural choice to allow your cat or dog to hunt the rats and mice in your home or on your property.
But these small mammals contain several parasites and diseases that pass to your pet if they interact with or eat the rodent they’ve caught. Your pet could end up with everything from roundworm to toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis, or hantavirus.
There’s also the risk that the rodent could scratch or bite your pet, leading to infected wounds. Finally, your pet could consume a poisoned animal and ingest the poison itself.
If you’re plagued with rodents, consider humane control options provided by a professional pest control company.
Ant infestations can wreak havoc on your food stores. When nests get out of control, you can see immense numbers of ants in your home, especially in the autumn, as they gather their stores for the cold winter months. They can also build their nest under patios and paving, causing landscaping features to sink.
Most ants are harmless to your pets. However, most of North Carolina now has colonies of red imported fire ants. These damaging insects, native to Brazil, arrived in North America in the 1930s and have expanded their range ever since.
If your pet encounters a mound, these aggressive ants will sting them. The resulting pustules itch intensely. Your pet may also suffer an allergic reaction and require immediate veterinary care.
A professional pest control company is your best bet when it comes to managing fire ant infestations. They typically offer quarterly and single treatments and can develop containment and elimination plans unique to your property.
Protecting Your Pets in the Greensboro Great Outdoors
If you have pets in Greensboro, you need to protect them against the specific pests in your area. This could include everything from American cockroaches to fire ants. Thankfully, most pests are easy to manage or avoid, especially with help from an experienced local pest control professional.
Get a quick quote from Pest Management Systems today!
While these steps/tips will help reduce the likelihood of pests threatening your pet, there is no guaranteed way to eliminate all risks.