As the warmer weather arrives, many will start to get the itch – the one associated with fleas and ticks from household pets and the backyard. These pesky little critters can be a major annoyance, but if left untreated or unaddressed, they can also be dangerous to you and your pets. In addition to these pests, the growing popularity of backyard chicken flocks is another major consideration and concern for those who want to keep bugs out of their homes.
While many people think their dogs are safe from fleas since they may spend most of their time indoors, this is unfortunately not the case. Every time Fido heads outside, he is prey for all those blood-sucking fleas that may be living in your yard.
All it takes is a single critter to jump onto your pet, and he can end up with a major infestation. If this happens, your home will also quickly become infested with fleas as well, which means you become an unwilling host to the pests as they love human blood just as much as the blood of your pets.
Cat owners are notorious for believing that their pets will never have a flea problem – after all, most felines never let their paws touch the ground outside of the front door. The reality is, YOU can introduce fleas into your home just as easily as a pet that spends time inside and outside.
Fleas attach to your pants, socks, and anything else they can leap to, and simply ride with you indoors. After this, it will be a very short time before Miss Kitty is scratching like crazy, and your home is infested with fleas.
Flea and Tick Dangers
Fleas and ticks, which are common in woody areas and where there are high weeds, both carry a variety of illnesses and diseases that can be passed to pets and humans. In addition, they also make your dog and cat very uncomfortable, and the constant itching can cause raw open sores that can lead to infection.
Ticks can be even more problematic, as they often burrow into the skin, making it difficult to find them before serious illness occurs. While fleas may cause slightly less dangerous illness (they still require a vet’s care), ticks release a toxin that can cause paralysis in people and pets which can cause death if the tick is not removed. Ticks also cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, and anaplasmosis, all of which have serious and potentially deadly health threats.
Chickens may not have the same parasites as the typical fleas and ticks seen on dogs and cats, but they do have their own bug problems. The increasing number of backyard coops bring these bug issues into close proximity to more homes than many people realize. Of course, if these are your hard-working pets, you may be more than a little interested in their unique pest problems.
While some of these pests may only cause discomfort, most of them also cause a decrease in the production of eggs. Others, however, can cause much more serious issues, such as loss of feathers, anemia, and severe irritation.
Some of the most commonly seen parasites on chickens include:
- Chicken Mites – Typically attacks at night
- Northern Fowl Mites – Mostly seen in the vent region
- Chicken Louse – Seen in the vent area, breast, under the wings and on the back
- Sticktight Fleas – These imbed in the faces of the chickens, but they can also become attached to pets and people as well.
The best way to protect your pets, chickens and your home is by making sure to have the yard and other outdoor areas treated properly for these pests. Fleas are becoming much harder to kill with readily available treatments, making it important to seek professional pest control to treat the problem. Fischer Environmental has been providing pest services in the New Orleans area for many years, and has the experience to keep you and your family pest free.
Filed in: Fleas and Ticks