Fleas and ticks are serious business, especially for pet owners. Pets can lose their lives if they are bitten by these parasites, so it is important to make sure you have accurate information about how to prevent disease. These are myths you should dispel.
Myth 1: You Only Need to Worry About Flees and Ticks If You See Them
It’s tougher to detect small bugs like flea and ticks, especially since chemicals have become better at controlling their population. There are great vet-approved ointments, gels, liquids and collars that do a good job at topically controlling pests. They impair reproduction, kill and repel parasites. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks go through multiple stages of development. Only around 5% of fleas and ticks live on their host. Instead, most of the fleas in your immediate environment are at some other live stage – egg, larva, pupa as well as an adult. The eggs and larvae can be anywhere. When they hatch, they jump onto your pet and literally feed on the blood. The same cycle exists for ticks, except their eggs develop into larvae and then nymphs. Even if you are gone for a few days along with your pets, the larvae and eggs can still live, meaning they can make themselves known when you return.
While this is undeniably gross, it’s important to focus on being consistent about your anti-flea and anti-tick regime. The key is to always maintain a strict parasite protocol and don’t leave anything to chance.
Myth 2: Colder Climates Don’t Need to Be as Concerned About Parasites
People frequently believe that fleas and ticks are a bigger problem in warm climates, and people frequently assert that ticks and fleas are “seasonal” in the colder climates. Many people say that hard frosts or snow kill off the parasite population. The reality is that fleas and ticks can survive the cold. They can burrow under decks, in sheds, go underground, or hide around the foundation of your home. The temperatures in these places create conditions which are good enough to keep a population of fleas and ticks reproducing.
Cold weather has at best a marginal impact on fleas and ticks. This means it is ver important to stick with the same anti-parasite regime all year round, regardless of the weather.
Myth 3: Indoor Pets Are Safe
One of the most common myths about fleas and ticks is that indoor pets are generally safe. How many of you simply assume that your dogs are fine since they don’t get out much? There is some truth that outdoor pets face more exposure to pests, but you can’t forget that fleas and ticks can embed themselves in your clothes and other objects. They also get passed around through mice and rats and squirrels. If those animals hang out in your basement, crawl space or house foundation, then odds are you will occasionally get some fleas wandering into your home. Do protect your animals from fleas, don’t divide your dogs into indoor and outdoor pets.
- Protect your dogs equally without regard for whether they are indoor / outdoor and despite the season outside.
- Use year-round flea-and-tick-control product recommended by your veterinarian on every dog and other pet.
- Get rid of overgrown brush and debris from around your home, since they are good opportunities for the parasites to live and breed.
- Close your crawl spaces or other vents leading into the house to keep out other small mammals who may be carrying ticks and fleas.
- Contract with a local pest control company to regularly kill bugs in the vicinity of your house.