A big thank you to PetLifeToday.com for providing this guest blog.
Many pet owners think that they don’t have to worry about fleas and ticks if their pets rarely or never go outdoors. Unfortunately, even indoor-only pets can be affected by these potentially dangerous (and certainly annoying) pests. Read on to find out how your indoor pets can manage to pick up fleas and ticks as well as tips on how to prevent the parasites from entering your home in the first place.
They Stroll in Through the Windows
Does your cat love to lay on the windowsills? If you, like many people, like to leave the windows open during pleasant weather, fleas can fit right through some screens and make their home on your indoor kitty. This is more likely if you tend to get wildlife in your yard; even squirrels, which cats love to watch, can carry fleas into your yard and close to your window, where they migrate off of the squirrels and onto your cat or other indoor pets.
Installing screens with smaller mesh can help. You can also spray near the windows with solutions including essential oils such as eucalyptus, citronella, or lavender. One caveat: Don’t spray where pets can get it on their paws or other body parts because these oils can be irritating or even toxic. Instead, try spraying it on the outside of the window (with the window closed) to discourage fleas from trying to get in.
They Hitch a Ride on You or Other Pets
Since you do not stay solely in your house, you have the potential for carrying fleas, ticks, and eggs into your home on your clothing and shoes. From there, they often look for a furry host such as your cat, dog, rabbit, or small caged mammals.
If you have a pet who sometimes goes outside, such as a dog who needs potty breaks or an indoor/outdoor cat, they can also carry in pests.
Check yourself and any indoor/outdoor pets for ticks regularly, particularly if you have been in an area with overgrown grass or a lot of trees. Also, keep your own lawn mowed and trimmed; keeping the grass short can cut down on fleas and ticks in your own yard, which, in turn, reduces the chances that you or your pets will pick them up. Finally, take off your shoes before going into the house. If that’s not possible, remove them in your entryway or mudroom and “clap” them outside to dislodge any hitchhikers.
They Remain Despite Treating the Home
Fleas, in particular, are very difficult to banish once you get them in your home. They can live in carpets, furniture, boxes of clothing in the attic or garage, and on pets that you cannot safely immerse to bathe, such as rabbits which need proper bunny care when cleaning. They also re-appear on pets that you can bathe because if you do not remove all of the eggs, a new crop will hatch even after you remove all of the live fleas. If you do end up with an infestation in your home, an exterminator might be your best bet to eliminate them once and for all.
Ticks do not breed in the home, but they can be a recurring problem because they are prolific in some outdoor areas. If you live near a field, the woods, or another environment that is tick-friendly, they can simply continue walking or hitching a ride into your home despite treating the home. Check your pets carefully after they’ve been outside and use TickZapper® to remove any ticks that you find on them.
Don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security concerning fleas and ticks due to your cats, dogs, rabbits, and other animals being indoor-only pets. These pests can enter any home, no matter how clean. Being aware of the potential problem, using flea and tick products on your indoor animals when safe to do so, and taking quick action if you suspect that your indoor or outdoor pet has fleas or ticks is the best way to keep them safe.