No one wants to share their home with unwanted pests, but many people don’t realize that pests are as unpleasant for pets as they are for people. There are several common household pests that can make your family pets sick: some can even be lethal. Even if certain pests are only a minor nuisance for you, they may pose big problems for your furry friends.
4 Nasty Household Pests that Can Affect Your Pet’s Health
Fleas and Ticks
The most common pests associated with household pets are fleas and ticks. These parasites feast on the blood of dogs, cats, birds horses and other animals, often leaving behind problems. In addition to making your pet itchy, fleas are frequently carriers of tapeworms while ticks spread several diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and tularemia. You can take steps to prevent ticks yourself, but fleas reproduce at an incredible rate, so solving flea problems usually involves the help of a pet-friendly exterminator. Pest control experts can stop pests from bothering you and your pets and can do so safely, keeping your pet away from both pests and the chemicals used to control them.
Flies and Mosquitoes
Although mosquitoes can carry some diseases, they and flies are usually considered nuisance pests more than human problems in most areas. This is not the case for pets, however. Mosquitoes are the cause of heartworms, which can permanently damage your pet’s heart, lungs and other internal organs if left untreated. Flies, too, create big problems for pets. Some fly species burrow into the skin of animals to lay their eggs, causing problems from minor skin lumps and bumps to major issues like blindness and paralysis.
Spiders and Scorpions
Certain members of the arachnid family are problematic for pets. Because they eat other pests, it is tempting to let spiders live alongside us. Black widows and brown recluse spiders, however, are harmful to both people and pets. Even more benign spiders can bite pets and cause uncomfortable reactions. The same is true of scorpions. Unfortunately, fur hides bites and you may not know your pet is having an issue until advanced symptoms such as muscle spasms, paralysis, vomiting and breathing problems begin.
Rats and Mice
Rats, mice and other rodents can all carry fleas, ticks and mites into your home. In addition to bringing other pests with them, these pests may bite your pet if they come into contact with him. These bites are painful by themselves and prone to infection. They can also transfer fatal diseases like leptospirosis and rabies. Rats and mice are also known for stealing and may force your pet to share his dinner with them. Pet food and water dishes make easy meals for rodents who may help themselves to your pet’s meals.
Don’t take chances with your pet’s health. Address pest problems as soon as you notice them to keep your pets safe. Act quickly, whether you deal with the problem yourself or call in professional backup.