Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Pest Prevention – Stay Ahead of Fleas and Heartworm
If your visions of spring and summer are filled with happy pet smiles, purrs, headbutts, barks, and tail wags, then you probably already got a head start on your pest prevention. Nothing can destroy joyful seasonal daydreams faster than a flea infestation or a diagnosis of heartworm disease. The two pests (fleas and mosquitoes, respectively) responsible for your pet’s suffering are just about ready to wake up, multiply, and ruin your summer vacation.
Let’s work on pest prevention techniques so you can get back to your warm weather reveries…
Please! No Fleas!
Perhaps you have been lucky enough (or prepared enough) in years past to avoid the true misery that is a flea infestation.
Don’t assume that without active, integrated prevention, a previous absence of fleas will be the running trend on your property or throughout your home. Begin your flea prevention practices in early spring, including:
Lawn care – Keeping your grass tidy and trimmed will limit flea hiding places. Piles of grass, leaves, or other brush make terrific nests. Tall grass or weeds that go to seed attract grain feeding animals, such as rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels, fox, coyote, and stray animals that most likely carry fleas. We’d be happy to discuss which lawn and garden products are safe for your family and pet.
Control other animals – Nuisance animals (listed above) may bring fleas into your yard where, unbeknownst to you, they latch onto your clothes or your pet’s coat and come inside your home. Consider humane traps and release the animals in a better habitat. Remember, do not welcome a stray pet, or even one you might know, into your home if you don’t know what pest prevention practices (if any) are in place.
Vacuum daily – The flea has four cycles (egg, larva, pupa, adult) and if you get out the good old Dyson everyday, you’ll suck up mostly eggs and larvae. Reduce flea survival by consistent vacuuming and thorough cleaning of areas your pet likes to sleep or lounge.
Manage your pet’s prevention – Fleas can live in a dormant stage for up to a year. If you stop flea treatment in colder weather, as soon as temperatures rise, fleas spring back to their old tricks at the expense of your pet. We recommend that pets receive year-round preventive flea medications; please make an appointment to discuss new parasite prevention products (and what to do after an infestation occurs) for your pet.
To best protect your pet, stay on top of fleas with a pro-active approach. Any type of control, or a combination of the ideas above, is worthwhile this spring and summer.
Pest Prevention for Heartworm Disease
Did you know there are over 30 kinds of mosquitoes in Placer county? The one responsible for transmitting heartworm disease to your pet is called Aedes Sierrensis and must be warded off.
Consider the life cycle of heartworms which can take approximately six months to mature inside your pet’s heart and lungs. If you stop heartworm preventives after the last mosquito bites the dust in fall, your pet could still be at risk throughout the winter. The disease is difficult (not to mention costly) to diagnose and treat in dogs, and deadly in cats.
Your approach should be two-fold:
- Keep your pet on a yearly pest prevention schedule to protect him or her from the terrible symptoms of heartworm disease.
- Clear away any outdoor containers with standing water that mosquitoes need to breed and contact your county’s mosquito abatement center for assistance
We Are Here For Your Pet
Pest prevention can be a full-time job in and of itself around your house – especially during spring. If we haven’t seen your pet in a while, please bring him or her in for a routine wellness care visit. We’d be happy to cover more ground pertaining to parasite prevention at that time.