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5 Things that Can Harm Your Pet

Everyone loves their pets and likes to take good care of them, but there are plenty of pests out there that can cause big problems for our furry friends if we don’t take extra precautions. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common pests that pose dangers for pets, along with a few tips to stay safe.

Fortunately for pet owners, pest control professionals are able and willing to help you with an infestation and restore your peace of mind.

1. Fleas

Besides latching onto a host and sucking blood, did you know that a flea can also jump about a foot off the ground in search of a new victim? Pretty creepy, but the most they usually do is cause pets to scratch excessively.

Fleas aren’t completely harmless to pets, though. The greatest concerns fleas can cause include severe allergic reactions to flea saliva that cause hair loss and bleeding from over-scratching, cat scratch disease, and tapeworms transmitted to pets when they bite infected fleas while scratching. Signs of tapeworms include white grains around your pet’s anus or in their feces.

To keep fleas from causing problems with pets, closely monitor their play areas and check your pet using a flea comb. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best flea treatment for your pet, since some over-the-counter (OTC) flea treatments may not be as effective as a prescription.

2. Mosquitoes

Just like when they bite you, a mosquito bite on your pet can result in a swollen, itchy welt on your pet’s skin. At worst, they could cause an allergic reaction or spread harmful diseases including heartworm and malaria.

Heartworm in a pet can cause sudden weight loss, unusual fatigue after everyday activities, appetite decrease, fever, reluctance to exercise, and even a swollen belly from too much fluid in the body. Luckily, malaria is pretty rare in pets but could cause drowsiness, loss of appetite, and fever.

Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in calm pools of standing water, so look for areas on your property with poor drainage and fixing them, especially in places where your pet likes to frolic.

3. Ticks

As bloodsuckers and great hitchhikers, ticks like to hang out in wooded areas or long grass to wait for a host to come along. When they have attached themselves, ticks can stay on a host for days or even weeks and can be difficult to remove without tweezers.

Ticks can also spread diseases like Ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Fever (which can occur outside the Rocky Mountains), and Cat Scratch Fever. In rare cases, some smaller pets could suffer from anemia because of blood loss or paralysis from severe reactions to tick saliva.

To prevent tick-borne illnesses, check your pet often with a flea comb and apply tick and flea treatments. As mentioned above, consider consulting your vet to determine the best treatment methods for your pet.

4. Stingers and Biters

Ever been stung or bitten before? Bites aren’t fun for your pet, either. Most pets instinctively avoid these bugs, but some cats or dogs may try to play with them, so keep a close lookout. When possible, it’s also a good idea to train your pet to avoid these bugs as much as possible.


The nastier they look, the greater a problem centipedes can cause for pets. And, unfortunately, bright colors not only mean more danger, but they can also make it more attractive to your pet. In rare cases, centipede venom could cause tissue damage, muscle spasms and cramps, and even heart attacks.

Centipedes eat any bug they can, so the best way to get rid of them is to keep their prey away from home by spraying for bugs.


The most dangerous spiders in the United States are the brown recluse spider and the black widow. The black widow is typically found throughout the majority of the States, though not usually quite as far north as Upstate New York or around Buffalo, NY. The brown recluse is found mostly in the warm Southern States.

However, many spiders still bite and could cause problems for smaller pets. If you or your pet is bitten, speed up the treatment process by either bringing the dead spider with you or taking good-quality photos of the spider.

The best way to keep spiders away from your house is to knock down their webs and spray your property for bugs. Most spiders will leave right away. You can also cut the grass short around your foundation and keep outdoor lights off.

Bees and Wasps

Although most pets stay away from bees and wasps, occasionally a curious cat or daring dog might chase or swat at one around the yard.

Bee and wasp stings typically cause a raised bump on the skin, but extreme cases could include a severe allergic reaction. It can pay to get rid of flying and stinging insects by calling the professionals for help with them right away.

Talk to your veterinarian about the best thing to do when your pet is stung. Some pets might just need an ice pack and some downtime, but others might need a cone or additional remedies to keep them safe.


Even though these little creepy-crawlers are armed with painful pincers and a serious sting, they usually don’t like to pick fights. But if your pet gets too close, a scorpion could cause some damage when provoked.

A scorpion’s sting could cause pain that is often described as similar to a yellow jacket or bee sting. However, a scorpion’s venom can be much more potent and dangerous than wasps’ stings, so seek medical or veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Fire Ants

Most ants won’t cause much of a problem for your pet. However, there are some kinds of ants that not only have serrated jaws but also carry a powerful stinger as well. Some ants have a stinger that’s just as painful and poisonous as a wasp’s or bee’s. If your pet gets involved in an entire colony of fire ants or another stinging ant, it could be a problem.

Take care to watch out for any ant mounds on your property. Consider calling the professionals for help to get rid of them.

5. Wildlife


These masked bandits cause all kinds of problems on a homeowner’s property, like raiding garbages and gardens, tearing up your grass, ripping up your house, spreading ticks and fleas, and carrying rabies.

Once they hear or smell a raccoon nearby, plenty of dogs can’t resist chasing down one of these intruders. It can pay to call a professional for wildlife control, especially if your neighborhood has a problem with raccoons or other wildlife.

The best way to keep raccoons away is to lock up your garbage and place them and your woodpile or compost at least 20 feet away from your house. Also, be sure to keep your yard free of fallen branches and fruits or other debris.

Mice and Rats

Rodents like to crawl through some nasty things on their way to your house, including the sewer. They can spread diseases like salmonella or parasites like roundworm or toxoplasma, which can be transmitted to a pet that eats or comes in contact with an infected rodent.

Keep rodents away by sealing all your food, including pet food, in airtight containers. You can also seal cracks and crevices of your home with silicone caulking. Peanut butter snap traps work well for mice, but rats are often more difficult, especially if they’ve found an entry point that’s hard to access or determine. So if you have a problem with rodents in your house or neighborhood, it can be worth it to call a professional for help.


Although they can spread rabies or spray a nasty smell everywhere, skunks are otherwise very docile and catlike in their behaviors. They like to keep to themselves and root around for grubs and other insects.

Obviously, a pet that crosses a skunk has a couple of stinky reasons to keep their distance. Training your pet to keep away from skunks could make a big difference in smell and prevent your pet from getting rabies from one.

Buffalo Wildlife Control and Pest Extermination

Ever tried to control pests on your own? It can be frustrating, time-consuming, and not to mention creepy to deal with these critters. Fox Pest Control can provide a no-obligation quote over the phone and schedule a free inspection. Our highly popular Home Protection Plan, used by 50,000 Americans, covers crawling insects, stinging insects, and rodents.

Fox also offers premium wildlife protection in Buffalo, NY. Keep skunks away, make raccoons leave, and avoid all the problems rodents and other wildlife can cause. Our Pest Pros will restore your peace of mind with humane trapping and exclusion that’s family- and pet-friendly.

When you call for services in Buffalo, NY, you aren’t just hiring a pest control company. You’re joining a family that cares about the safety of your family and your pet. We get the job done right the first time. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on April 10, 2020.

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