Parasite control is important year-round. In the fall, due to milder temperatures and increased moisture, a wide range of critters can still be active and may directly threaten our pets. Whether it be fleas, ticks, spiders, or other bugs that are endemic to Connecticut, knowing and recognizing pests and preventing and addressing infestations can prevent potentially serious illness and injury. Here’s Mastering Fall Pest Control: Tips for Inside and Outside Your Home.
Avoid Infested Areas
Unfortunately, leaf piles are a very popular place for fleas, ticks, and spiders, among other critters, to dwell. Because you can’t be sure what’s under all those decaying leaves, it’s best to avoid them.
We know of a dog that may have been bitten by a spider – we referenced him in last week’s blog about laser therapy – in his own back yard. While there’s no way to know exactly what bit him, it happened in the fall while he lay on ground covered in leaves. His family didn’t even notice he had been bit or stung until he started limping and then saw his skin decaying around the suspected bite or sting. Untreated, this bug bite could have been very serious.
While playing in a pile of leaves or lying around fallen leaves may seem harmless, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially with young puppies, seniors, and chronically ill pets who may have a harder time healing.
This link provides info on spider bites in dogs. Keep in mind that cats too can be bit by spiders, fleas, and more. Fall is a common time for spiders and other critters to make their way indoors. As temperatures drop, open doors and windows, cracks in door frames and foundations, and faulty window screens and seals can allow unwanted visitors to take up residence in your home.
To keep critters from moving in, consider contacting a pest control company to treat the perimeter of your home, inside and out. Most pest control companies will recommend treatments based on your local area and suspected threats. Using formulations that are toxic to pests, pest control companies use pesticides to either kills bugs on contact, deter them from approaching the treated area, or both.
Creating a pest barrier can also be done with DIY products you make yourself or find online. No matter what option you choose, do your research on the pesticide and how it works. Always follow application instructions to ensure the pets and humans in the home remain safe while eliminating unwanted pests.
Maintain Your Home & Yard
In addition to avoiding leaf piles, cleaning up fallen leaves, and using pesticides around your home, maintaining the inside of the home is a great way to control pests.
Inside, wash your pet’s bedding, leashes, and harnesses often. When shopping for pet beds, ensure that they have a washable cover and inspect the foam regularly. If your pet sleeps in your bed or sits on your couch, wash your sheets and blankets, clean upholstry, and consider investing in a washable couch cover. Because leaves are falling and sticking to our shoes, consider making your house shoe-free this fall, which may help keep floors clean and critters out.
Outside, keep your grass maintained this time of year. Many of us get a little lazy about our grass once it gets cold but fall and winter lawn care is still necessary. Mow your lawn but adjust the blades to the appropriate height.
Finally, discuss pest prevention strategies with your local nursery or home care center. We love visiting Maynard Greenhouses on Ingham Hill Road and Van Wilgen’s Garden Mart on Boston Post Rd, both in Old Saybrook. The staff at these and other local nurseries are always happy to discuss yard maintenance and pest prevention with those looking to be proactive about their home and yard this time of year.
Check Your Pet for Critters
In addition to staying on top of regular flea and tick preventatives, either oral or topical, check your pet for critters regularly.
If you’re coming in from a walk or hike, do a snout to tail assessment on your dog to ensure they didn’t pick up any unwanted hitchhikers. By inspecting your pet’s fur, you not only catch pests, but you may also find new growths, hot spots, and concerning cysts that require veterinary attention.
Brushing foxtails and burs out of your pet’s fur, giving regular baths, and keeping up with brushing and grooming will also help you check your pet for critters; these are also a great way to ensure your pet’s overall comfort and wellbeing.
Count on Your Professional Pet Sitter
At Shoreline Happy Paws, we are always on top of the pets in our care. Whether we’re inspecting their bedding, paws, or fur after walks and dog hiking adventures, you can be sure your dog’s safety is our top priority.
If ever we find pests in or outside your home, we will contact you to inform you of our findings. When you’re away on travel, we are happy to manage the issue in the best way we know how until your return. If ever you are dealing with an active infestation and schedule services with us, we ask that you please inform us of the issue so that we may prepare ourselves and our team to safely navigate our visits and keep your pets safe.
Shoreline Happy Paws offers dog walking, pet sitting, and dog hiking adventures in the following areas of the Connecticut Shoreline:
- Old Saybrook
- Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
- Deep River
- Old Lyme
- East Lyme
Certain Areas and Limited Service Hours in:
- Lyme and Madison
- Waterford, New London, Groton
- Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank
We hope you enjoyed Mastering Fall Pest Control: Tips for Inside and Outside Your Home!