New Bug Barometer Predicts A Bad Year for World’s Deadliest Pest – Mosquitoes

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 What to Know About Dangers of Mosquitoes for Your Family and Pets 

It is time to ready your pets and family for spring and more mosquitoes. The National Pest Management Association is out with its biannual Bug Barometer and it looks like it could be a big season for mosquitoes.Mosquito_pexels-photo-169357

Drawing on weather patterns and long-term predictions, the entomologists believe everyone’s least favorite neighbors will arrive in full force as our weather warms up.

Scientists say a wet winter and La Niña, the cool phase of a natural climate pattern in Pacific Ocean, are creating conditions favorable to mosquitoes which spread misery and disease to people and animals.

This is how the conditions for pests are shaping up across the United States.

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Jim Fredericks, Ph.D. explains, “Residual moisture is a prime attraction for pests, especially home-damaging termites and mosquitoes known for transmitting disease, and conditions are ideal for when these pests typically flourish in the springtime.”Big_tiger-mosquito-mosquito-asian-tigermucke-sting-86722

Mosquito-borne diseases are among the world’s leading causes of illness and death. Viral encephalitis, the West Nile virus, the Zika virus and malaria are just a few of the illnesses mosquitoes spread to people.

Heartworm is a deadly, but preventable parasite spread by mosquitoes to animals. Heartworms primarily infect dogs, cats and ferrets. They also infect a variety of wild animals. This is important to know because they can only be transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes.

Since heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, any pet exposed to mosquitoes should be tested. Because mosquitoes can also get into homes, this puts indoor-only pets at risk of infection as well.

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Indoor pets also need heartworm medication

The American Heartworm Society recommends testing pets every 12 months for heartworm and giving your pet a heartworm preventive 12 months a year.

Heartworm is a progressive, life-threatening disease. The earlier it is detected and treated, the better the chances a pet will recover and have less complications. You can learn more about heartworms in animals at https://www.heartwormsociety.org/  or your veterinarian’s office.

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Tips to Make July a Fun Time for Pets

 

205382_4461940550881_1160270335_nThe beginning of July can be a very tough time for pets. Many people get an early start on Independence Day celebrations with their own fireworks and even gunfire! In my neighborhood the backyard fireworks began as soon as the local fireworks stands went up.DSCN1632BucaneerStatePark

These loud noises can send cats and dogs into a state of panic that often lead them to crash through screens, jump a fence or find another method of escape. There are ways to make July 4th safer and less stressful for pets. It starts with keeping your pet inside as much as possible before and after the holiday. In some extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about tranquilizers to help your pet.

It is smart to take pets out on a leash in the in the early evening, well before nightfall, to avoid noisy fireworks. Please do not take a dog to watch a large community or commercial firework display. This only increases the chances of a pet becoming lost in an unfamiliar area. Keep furry family members safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.236504

The Fourth of July and grilling go hand and hand. It may seem like a great idea to reward pets with scraps from the grill. In reality, some festive 4th foods and products can be hazardous to your pets. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them! Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.

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Chow ready to chow down!

July 4th trips or any summer outing with your dog may tempt you to help them by sharing your outdoor products. This can be dangerous! Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems. Have a fun and safe summer with your furry friends.

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Keeping Furry Friends Safe During July 4th Festivities

The beginning of July can be a very tough time for pets. Many Saint Louisans get an early start on Independence Day celebrations with their own fireworks and even gunfire! These loud noises can send cats and dogs into a state of panic that often lead them to crash through screens, jump a fence or find another method of escape.100_2320_sizedBransonThere are ways to make July 4th safer and less stressful for pets. It starts with keeping your pet inside as much as possible before and after the holiday. In some extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about tranquilizers to help your pet.

It is smart to take pets out on a leash in the in the early evening, well before nightfall, to avoid noisy fireworks. Please do not take a dog to watch a large community or commercial firework display. This only increases the chances of a pet becoming lost in an unfamiliar area. Keep furry family members safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

The Fourth of July and grilling go hand and hand. It may seem like a great idea to reward pets with scraps from the grill. In reality, some festive 4th foods and products can be hazardous to your pets. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets.

DSCN1632BucaneerStateParkJuly 4th trips or any summer outing with your dog may tempt you to help them share your outdoor coping kit. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

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I love to write about people, animals, start-ups, new beginnings, second chances and a lot more. If you want to learn more about my writing, and how I might help you visit danitabackwood.com

Is Your Pet a Pollen Magnet? Tips for Dog Lovers with Allergies

My dogs are normally white, but after a spring romp they often have a yellow tint due to pollen clinging to their long fur. The pollen prompts sneezes from both pups and me.

Saint Louis can be a tough place to live with allergies. A former number one worst allergy city, Saint Louis is now ranked as the nation’s twentieth most challenging city for those who suffer with allergies.

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Pollen sensitivities do not have to keep pets and the people who love them inside. There are a few strategies to use to enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend and avoid pollen.

• Consider giving dogs with long coats a haircut as weather begins to warm. This will be more comfortable and pick up less pollen and other debris outside.

• Wipe pet down with animal wet wipes after every visit outside. Wipe from head to tail because pollen can stick to faces, fur, tails and paws!

• If there is a lot of pollen on your pet, a rinse in the shower may help. Use less pet shampoo or none at all, if you need to do this a lot.

• Consider treating pets to more frequent brushes to get any pollen out of their fur if there is someone available not sensitive to pollen to lend a hand.

• Following pollen forecasts can help you choose the best route to walk your dog to reduce exposure. If the pollen count is particularly high, consider postponing your walk or playing with your dog inside instead. In general, all types of plants favor warm, sunny days for releasing pollen, and they tend not to do it during rainy weather. Rain also washes residual pollen out of the air.

• Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling and sneezing as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.