Mosquitoes and pets do not mix. It is important to know how to protect pets from mosquitoes. Your pets are not immune to mosquito bites – they can suffer as much as you do, and the insects are not particular about where they get their blood. Mosquitoes need blood to provide the protein necessary for egg production.
Mosquitoes generally feed on plant nectar which is very short of protein! Mosquito eggs need protein for their development and blood is not food but a source of protein. That’s why only females bite – the males live on nectar. Mosquitoes will suck the blood of any warm-blooded animal – including you, your dog, your cat and even your horse. That’s why it’s important to keep them in mind with your mosquito control system.
Here are some mosquito control tips on how to protect pets from bites.
Keep Pets Indoors: Mosquitoes are most active early in the morning, just as the sun is rising and from dusk into the evening. They don’t like it sunny, and prefer it slightly dark and with low wind. If possible, keep your pets indoors early in the morning and from dusk onwards. Alternatively, put them in an enclosure fitted with a screen, such as show to the right.
Keep Away From Swarms: Mosquito control 101 is to keep pets away from areas where mosquitoes tend to swarm. Most people know where these areas are around their neighborhood, but, when walking your dog, look for still ponds and marshes, standing puddles and anywhere else known to be bad for mosquito bites. Your pets suffer just as much as you do!
Basic Mosquito Control: Mr. Mister has written many times about Atlanta mosquito control on this blog. Basic mosquito control involves clearing away any containers that can hold standing water: cans, pails, old tires, blocked gutters and the area around drains and downpipes. By taking these simple actions you can protect yourself, your family and your pets from being bitten.
Water Butts and Wet Lawns: Water butts are a dream for many mosquitoes, so include them in your mosquito control program. Cover them in fine mesh to prevent mosquitoes getting in and laying eggs on the water surface. Damp lawns, that are not spiked to allow rainwater to drain away, can also harbor mosquitoes and their eggs. Your cat or dog can get bitten when these eggs develop into larvae and then adults. Spike lawns to allow standing water to drain away.
Change Feeding Bowls: If you pet spends a lot of time outdoors, then make sure you regularly clean out the feeding and water bowls. A mosquito can go through the entire lifecycle in 4-14 days depending on the climate and species. It is not impossible for a bowl left for 5 days in wet, warm weather to produce hundreds of mosquitoes.
NEVER use DEET: NEVER use DEET on animals. This is dangerous to your pets, and its safety with humans is not yet sure. Mr. Mister does not use DEET in any of our mosquito control systems. Picaridin is safer for humans, but not for your pets. Citronella and eucalyptus oil may be safer but get the advice of your vet before using any mosquito repellant on your pet.
Mosquitoes Indoors: Mosquitoes can easily get indoors, but you can reduce the likelihood by using screens on your windows and doors. Homes with damp basements can be home to mosquitoes over winter and that suddenly appear indoors in spring. Make sure your basement is dry and check under the sink – dark, dank areas can be a mosquito heaven!
Mosquitoes and Pets: Best Mosquito Control Systems for Pets
Mosquitoes and pets do not mix, and the best mosquito control systems for your pets are also the best for you. Right now, in winter, is the best time to clear up your yard and make sure that you remove all standing water and also prospective dark hiding places for the insects. Check out your attic and basement, and any other places that might be damp and breed mosquitoes.
Follow the above advice and you will have done all you can to protect your pets from mosquito bites come spring. However, when spring is near, contact Mr. Mister and we can arrange to set up a mosquito misting system for you to protect your yard and home 24/7. We will also first check out your yard and treat all areas to remove existing infestations.
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