Pet-Safe Area Pest Treatments
Pets bring love, joy, play and laughter into your home. Unfortunately, there's also a less talked about aspect to having animals: pests. Pests live everywhere; they were here before us and they'll be here long after we've gone. Common pests include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, roaches, ants and mites. If you don't treat the areas around your home regularly, pests will tend to show up inside, however, even with treatment pests can end up in your home. Dogs and cats dramatically increase the likelihood of pests ending up indoors. That's because pets that exit and enter the home frequently are prone to picking up hitchhikers along the way. Once inside, they use your pet for food and to breed, increasing their populations rapidly. Within just a few weeks, on flea can turn into hundreds inside your home. That's why it's critical to take a rounded approach to pest control; treating your pet, your yard and your home will help to prevent pest invasions that can be very difficult to mitigate once the problem's in full swing.
The two most common pests that end up in your home and thrive there because of your cat or dog are ticks and fleas.
You can pick up ticks, too, but ticks that are brought into the home from the outside are much more likely to be carried by your furry friend. That's because ticks latch on to their victims as they pass by and fur offers them an excellent grip. Ticks tend to stick around humid and shaded areas preferring high grasses, wooded areas, and bushes. You may think that going out on hikes is the only sure-fire way to pick up ticks, but there are plenty of places around your own home where ticks could be hiding. Leaf piles, wood or stone stacks, unkempt lawns and storage sheds are all ideal tick environments. If you live in a humid climate, your home is even more susceptible to ticks; whether they hitch a ride or crawl in through a small crack in the door, they can end up in your home and on your pet.
While only a handful of ticks carry the diseases they're notorious for, such a Lyme, they are not harmless pests. Tick bites are irritating and can quickly become infected, leading to painful sores and expensive vet bills.
Fleas are some of the worst pest offenders. They are incredibly difficult to control and most homes with pets are susceptible to them. Fleas live in places where it’s moist and warm throughout the year, which includes most of the southern and southeastern states as well as most of the west coast. Fleas are difficult to control because you may not notice an infestation until it's too late.
The flea life cycle begins with an adult flea that hops onto your pet in the yard or on a hike. Fleas live nearly everywhere, so it's nearly impossible to avoid this. Once the flea is on your pet, it bites and takes a blood meal. This blood meal is the catalyst for all the stages that follow; once the blood meal is consumed, the flea starts laying eggs at an astonishing rate. The eggs don't easily cling to your pet so they'll fall off and be deposited around your home and yard. An egg hatches within a few weeks and grows into a larva and then a pupa (an unmatured adult). The pupa can lay dormant for months if conditions aren't right for it to thrive, but once it matures, it will quickly find a ride on another unsuspecting mammal - your dog or cat if it has the chance to mature indoors. Now, the cycle starts again and although you may only be aware of one or two fleas on your pet, there may already be hundreds more just waiting to hatch and bite.
Try these tips for minimizing pests in and around your home:
- Remove standing water
- Don't store chopped wood near your home
- Seal cracks and gaps around doors and windows
- Remove leaves and leaf piles in a timely manner
- Keep lawns short and bushes and hedges trimmed neatly
- Use are treatments to regularly treat around the home and in sheds
- Wash pet bedding weekly
- Check your pet regularly
- Vacuum the couch and below couch cushions
- Use area treatments on rugs, under beds and under couches
- Vacuum your home regularly, paying special attention to hard to reach places
Keep yourself and your pets safe with our selection of area treatments for fleas, ticks and more. We carry a wide range of chemical and natural area pest treatments for indoor and outdoor use. Learn more about flea and tick treatment here