Buying bug sprays, tiki torches, and citronella candles is what most of us do in preparation for mosquito season. But what do we do for our dogs and cats? Are they susceptible to mosquito bites and illnesses, too? Yes! Here at Mosquito Magnet®, we want to make sure you and your pets have a healthy happy summer, so let’s talk about protecting your pets from mosquitoes!
Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Animals?
Since dogs, cats, horses and many other pets also produce high levels of carbon dioxide when they exhale, they too are strong mosquito magnets, just like humans. A mosquito bite can be just as irritating to an animal as it is to a person, and some critters may experience a potentially serious allergic reaction. Animals are also susceptible to certain mosquito-borne diseases. That’s why mosquito control for pets is so important.
Mosquito-borne Disease in Dogs and Cats
The most common mosquito-transmitted affliction that affects dogs and cats is heartworm. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up heartworm larvae – also called microfilaria. Then, when the mosquito bites a new animal, it deposits the microfilaria into the skin.
Once inside the animal’s body, the larvae will mature into adult heartworms over a period of 3-4 months. Adult heartworms can grow as large as 12 inches and can survive inside a dog or cat for several years. The damage they cause to the heart, blood vessels, and other vital organs can lead to serious illnesses or death.
The best method to protect your pets from serious illness is prevention.
What About Horses?
Horses are equally susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases. They could be at risk of contracting equine encephalitis, which comes in a variety of forms. Encephalitis is a medical term that means “inflammation of the brain.” This is a zoonotic disease (transmittable from animals to humans) which is spread by the mosquito after having bitten an infected animal, usually a bird.
The two most common forms of the affliction are Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE). They derive their names from the areas of the United States in which they are prevalent.
Both diseases can have serious health implications for horses, and they can even be fatal in some instances. Learn more about effective mosquito management for horse farms. Prevention is the best medicine, so ask your equine veterinarian about important vaccines to prevent EEE and WEE.
Tips for Preventing Mosquitoes in Your Yard
There is a lot you can do to make sure mosquitoes aren’t going to make your backyard their new home. You’d be surprised at the tiny areas in which mosquitoes are able to lay their eggs. Begin by removing all trash from your yard which could be holding water, and also check for areas of pooling in holes and dog dishes, etc. It takes just eight days for mosquitoes to grow from egg to adult – be vigilant with your inspections!
Since mosquitoes are attracted to light, be sure to turn off outside spotlights when not in use. Also check your screens – they could enter through holes in screens to get to light inside. Many wild animals and other insects eat mosquitoes, too; check out our top five list here!
SET UP A MOSQUITO MAGNET® TRAP
Mosquito traps are an easy way to dramatically reduce the mosquito population on your property without exposing your pets to potentially harmful chemicals. Mosquito traps, such as the Mosquito Magnet®, can be placed in your yard and will start working immediately to eliminate these pests.
Mosquito Magnet® mosquito traps safely lure in the female mosquitoes that are looking for a blood meal by using carbon dioxide and an attractant that mimics the scent of human body chemistry. Mosquitoes are then sucked into the trap, where they dehydrate and die within 24 hours. Mosquito Magnet® traps are also an effective way to control other bloodsuckers, such as black flies, midges and no-see-ums that can be bothersome to your pets as well.
Do you have a different method for repelling mosquitoes or keeping mosquitoes away from your pets? Let us know in the comments or tell us about it on your next visit to Facebook. Never miss an article; sign up for the Mosquito Magnet® Newsletter for discounts and special offers!