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Posted on 11-05-2015

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year.

Weather is getting cooler, hiking, bonfire nights and camping become the popular things to do outdoors. Of course our four legged friends are invited and revel in the fun of being outside with family. We encourage getting out there and enjoying family and friends. One thing to keep in mind is that the threat of summer pests can actually become more of a problem during autumn and winter. Wildlife is trying to find a secure place for the winter and you home may be that place. Wildlife always have unwelcomed guests and they love to share.

Fleas and ticks

Think about it this way. If you were a lonely little flea in this big old world, you start to feel the chill in the air and know that you need to find a place to call home that has a controlled environment, plenty of food and perfect furnishing...where would you go? Your exactly right, your home is the perfect environment for fleas and ticks to make themselves comfortable. Your home is temperature controlled and there are many hosts they can feed from, including you. The last thing you want is for a flea family to make your home the place they decide to start a family. Recently we have had a slew of calls from frustrated clients that have a flea infestation in their homes. Trust me when I say this, getting rid of fleas is an uphill battle.

How can you control fleas and ticks?

  • Prevention, prevention, prevention...did I say prevention? Keeping your pet on year round flea and tick prevention is key.
  • Removing leaf and garden litter is a great way to limit the places where fleas and ticks live.
  • Keeping the ground under bird feeders clean, to decrease rodent and small wildlife from sharing their unwelcomed guests with your family is a good idea.
  • Keep grasses, brush and shrubs, trimmed. 18-24" tall since deer ticks like to cling to tall grasses to await their next victim.

Mosquitoes

As anyone that has lived in Georgia during all our season, they all know that mosquitoes thrive pretty much all year round. Mosquitoes are one of the, if not the number one, vector of diseases in the world. This stands true for our canine and feline friends. Mosquitoes expose our pets to heartworm disease, which for cats there is no treatment.

How can you help prevent heartworm disease?

  • Just in case you were wondering...Prevention is the key to keeping them protected.
  • Eliminating mosquito breeding grounds like puddles, flower pets, old tires and fountains or any standing water is a start.
  • These blood sucking parasites also enjoy living in microclimates such as sheds, garages and crawl spaces. Once again spaces that climate is controlled.

Other dangers such as lyme disease, giardia and leptospirosis are generally spread by wildlife.

Lyme disease is a disease carried by ticks.

Giardia is a protozoa type parasite that causes some significant GI issues. Giardia live in all types of weather and thrive in rainy wet areas, which Georgia has become.

Leptospirosis, a bacteria that effects the kidneys and liver, and can also effect other parts of the body. Easily spread by wildlife and obtained either through drinking standing water or absorbed through the skin.

All of the above mentioned diseases can be spread to humans, which is yet another reason to protect our fur kids and ourselves. All very preventable.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call. We will be more than happy to help in anyway we can.

Until next time,

Dr Marcus Smith

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