Face it, mosquitos are annoying to humans. Nobody likes coming home from the park or an evening outdoors only to find itchy red bumps on their skin. Mosquitoes can cause minor to severe allergic reactions in addition to carrying dangerous diseases through their saliva.
However, do mosquitoes pose the same annoyances and risks to your pets?
Mosquitoes Bother Animals
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which helps them find hosts to bite. While they only need flower nectar to survive, for a female to grow eggs she must drink blood from a host. Mosquitoes bite humans and animals to get this blood.
Just like mosquito bites annoy humans, they can also be irritating to animals. The saliva in a mosquito’s bite contains chemicals that cause the body to react with something called histamine, which leads to itchy bumps.
Animals may scratch or bite the bumps, opening a pathway for the mosquito bites to become bigger wounds that can become infected.
Mosquitoes can also carry diseases, posing an even greater risk to animals than irritation.
When a mosquito bites an animal or human with a disease, the bug then can carry the virus, bacteria, or fungus in its saliva and pass it to the next person or animal they bite. In particular, heartworm disease can affect common pets like cats and dogs.
Heartworms are a common parasite that often infects wild animals like foxes, coyotes, and wolves. If you live in an area near these wild animals, mosquitoes are more likely to carry this parasite, putting your pets at risk of heartworm disease.
Early symptoms of heartworm infection include:
Being unwilling to exercise and easily fatigued
Loss of appetite and weight loss
As heartworm infection becomes more severe, pets will experience:
A swollen abdomen from extra fluid
Blocked blood flow
Unfortunately, once these symptoms appear in an animal, they will need surgery to survive, and it may be too late to save them.
Prevention of Heartworm
Because heartworms are such a serious problem in pets, vets recommend giving them preventative heartworm medication. The standard recommendation is monthly treatment with heartworm medication and yearly testing to see if your pet has developed an infection.
It’s important to follow your vet’s recommendations, but there are also steps you can take in your home to decrease your pet’s exposure to mosquito bites.
Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Pets
Doing what you can to keep mosquitoes away from your pets is important to keep your furry friends—and yourself—healthy. Here are a few easy ways to make a difference.
Get rid of standing water.
Mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs. As a result, they are attracted to bodies of water like ponds and lakes—but even tiny areas of standing water can become a breeding ground.
If your pets have outdoor water bowls, make sure to regularly bring them in and clean them. If you have other sources of standing water, like a:
Child’s water table
Empty soda cans
Either get rid of them or dump and clean them regularly.
Keep pets inside during peak mosquito activity.
Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn, when temperatures are slightly cooler. These are common times to walk dogs because the temperatures are more comfortable and people are often home from work. If you want to be outside with your pets during these times, avoid areas with water to prevent mosquito bites.
Use a veterinary approved mosquito repellent on your pet.
If you can’t avoid being in an area with heavy mosquito activity, ask your vet about a good mosquito repellent to protect your pet. There are formulas that can be applied monthly, as well as sprays that can be applied as needed.
Prevent mosquito infestations in your yard.
Mosquitoes are persistent, and it’s easy for them to get out of control.
One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away from your pets is to have your home and yard treated regularly.
While strategies like getting rid of standing water, avoiding peak activity times, and using repellent can help, they’re less effective than getting your home and yard regularly treated and it’s easy for mosquitoes—and the potential for infection—to sneak through.
Let Mosquito Shield Help Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Pets
Mosquito Shield Professional
At Mosquito Shield, we know you want full coverage mosquito protection for all your loved ones, including those furry friends. Our Mosquito Proprietary Blend (MPB) tackles multiple facets of mosquito prevention to keep your yard clear of these pests:
The MPB formula kills any pests in your yard.
MPB is packed with natural scent-blockers that mask mosquito attractants so they will not be able to sense you or your pets.
Finally, MPB creates a barrier that repels mosquitoes from entering your property.
At Mosquito Shield, we prevent mosquitoes from every angle so you and your pets can enjoy the outside this summer without worrying about annoying bites or more serious diseases. If you’re interested in working with us, call today at 1-800-908-7076 or get a free quote.