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5 Insects And Animals that are Bad for your Pet

Everyone loves their pets and likes to take good care of them, but there are plenty of pests out there that can cause serious harm if we’re not especially cautious.Below, we’ve listed the most common pests that cause issues, some of the most common pests that pose dangers for pets, and a few tips to stay safe. Luckily, there are pest control professionals out there who can help you fight off these pests and keep them away.

1. Fleas

Did you know that fleas can jump about a foot off the ground to find a new host? Pretty creepy. After they’ve attached, they can cause massive skin irritation and even allergic reactions, causing some pets to scratch until they bleed and patches of their hair fall out.

In the worst case scenario, a pet could swallow a tapeworm egg on or inside the flea. A pet infected with a tapeworm will show usual signs of illness, including fatigue. Tapeworms live inside the digestive system and make pets extremely hungry, so watch for overeating combined with weight loss. A pet with tapeworms also will have white grains similar to rice around their anus and in their feces.

You can keep fleas away by checking your pet regularly with a flea comb and treating them with flea and tick medication. Discuss over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescription medicine options with your veterinarian to determine the best option for you.

2. Mosquitoes

These winged vampires are just as unpleasant for your pets as they are for you. Mosquito bites typically don’t do more than leave a swollen, itchy welt on the skin. However, at worst, they could cause an allergic reaction or spread harmful diseases like heartworm and malaria.

When a pet has heartworm, you might see the pet undergo unexplained weight loss, sudden or unusual fatigue, decreased appetite, fever, reluctance to exercise, and a swollen belly from excess fluid in the body. Left untreated, heartworm could lead to heart problems and heart failure. Malaria, thankfully, is very rare in pets but could result in drowsiness, appetite loss, and fever.

To get rid of mosquitoes, one thing you can do is get rid of standing water around your property, which is where they like to lay their eggs. Look for areas with poor drainage, especially in areas where your pet likes to play.

3. Ticks

Just like mosquitoes and fleas, ticks are also bloodsuckers. They like to hang out in wooded areas and tall grass to wait for a new host. Once they attach themselves, they can gorge themselves on blood for days or even weeks, and they’re tough to remove without tweezers.

Ticks spread diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Fever (which occurs, everywhere, not just in the Rocky Mountains), and Cat Scratch Fever. In some rare cases, smaller pets suffer from anemia because of blood loss, or paralysis from severe reactions to tick saliva.

Prevent tick-borne illnesses by clearing your yard of debris like fallen branches and leaves, and cut the grass short, especially around your home foundation and in areas where your pets like to play. Also, consult with your veterinarian about which tick treatments are best for your pet.

4. Venomous Stingers and Biters


Although their sharp pincers, eight legs, scissor-like mouthparts, and venomous stinger make them look scary, these desert dwellers aren’t usually aggressive and like to keep to themselves. But if a playful pet comes too close to a scorpion, the results could be serious.

Even though they’re described as painful as a bee or wasp sting, a scorpion’s venom can be much more toxic. Plus, anyone would want to avoid those pincers!

If you or your pet stumbles across one of these desert demons and is stung, seek medical or veterinary attention right away.


Plenty of people are creeped out by spiders’ eight hairy legs, their fangs, and just the way they move. The good news is that even the two most poisonous spiders in the United States don’t usually cause long-term damage in healthy people or pets, especially if they get help right after a bite.

Black widows and brown recluses are the most poisonous spiders in the United States. Brown recluses live mostly in the Southern States, while black widows can live further north, especially the Northern Black Widow, which can be found as far north as New York State.

If you or your pet is bitten, look for veterinary or medical help right away, even if you’re unsure what kind of spider it is. Either take the spider body along with you for identification, or take good-quality photos along to speed up the treatment process.

Hoping to get rid of spiders from around your house or in your basement? When a spider’s web is knocked down and their food source — other bugs — aren’t around, they’ll typically leave your home. Consider hiring a professional to spray for bugs and help get spiders to leave.


Like the stuff of nightmares or B-grade horror films, centipedes have around 15 to 30 or more pairs of legs, long antennae, and a pair of fangs packed with powerful poison. Luckily, the smaller varieties don’t usually cause trouble for your or your pets, such as the house centipede that simply chases down flies and beetles or small spiders.

Larger centipedes, like the one pictured here, can really cause some damage. Some species can grow to be 8 inches long or more. Some are large enough to hunt small lizards and birds, and there are some kinds that can even climb the walls of caves and snatch bats out of the air.

Very rarely, some cases of centipede bites can result in tissue damage from the venom, muscle spasms or cramps, or (very rarely) heart attacks.

Not many people want one of these monsters running freely around their house on those many legs. Like spiders, centipedes hunt other insects, so the best way to keep them out is to remove bugs by spraying for them. Call a professional to help get rid of centipedes and other unwanted bugs.

Bees and Wasps

Some pets instinctively avoid bees and wasps, especially when they dive bomb into your pet’s face. But some daring dogs or curious cats might make a swipe or take a chomp at one.

The worst that usually happens with bee or wasp stings is a painful welt and minor swelling. But just like some humans, pets could experience a severe reaction as well. Consult your veterinarian to know the best course of action if your pet is stung.

Wasp nests or bee hives around your home could pose a serious threat, especially if they set up shop in the siding of the house or in the roofing or eaves. Treating a wasp or bee nest on your own can lead to serious consequences, so don’t be shy to call the professionals for help.

Fire Ants

Now, most ants won’t cause a problem with pets. However, there are some species of ants with stings as potent as a wasp sting. Many stinging ants can also sting repeatedly, just like wasps, and deliver even more painful poison to your pet or to you.

If a pet gets involved with a colony of fire ants or another stinging ant species, the results could be serious, so don’t hesitate to call a professional to know what to do to get rid of ants.

5. Wildlife


Raccoons are just like masked robbers or bandits, and they act like it, too. They raid garbage cans and gardens, rip up lawns, and tear apart property. They also carry rabies and spread ticks, and not to mention make a lot of noise.

Plenty of dogs can’t resist a game of tag with raccoons, but it’s all fun and games until someone gets fleas or rabies. You can save yourself plenty of time and stress and protect your pet from raccoon problems.

To keep raccoons away, lock up your garbage, keep woodpiles and trash bins at least 20 feet away from the house, clear up the yard of fallen branches, fruit, old appliances, lawn games and toys, fallen leaves, and any other debris.

Mice and Rats

Rodents aren’t just famous for swimming through sewage on the way to your house and food, they can also spread parasites like toxoplasma and roundworm or diseases like salmonella. Your pet could be at risk if you have rodents in your home or in your area.

You can best avoid rodent problems by sealing your food, including pet food and birdseed, in airtight containers. Use silicone caulking to block common entry points, like gaps around utility or A/C pipes, cracks around doors and windows, and other cracks and crevices around the foundation.

Peanut butter traps and other rodent deterrents from the local hardware store might work well for mice, but not so much for rats. When you have a rodent problem, look to the professionals for help.


Famous for their stripes and stench, these shy creatures trundle around in search of grubs, worms, and insects and typically try to stay out of the way. In fact, they’re very similar to cats in many ways. Despite their agreeable personality, they still have disagreeable characteristics besides their powerful smell because they are also a primary carrier of rabies and can also spread fleas and ticks.

If your area or neighborhood has problems with skunks, you will benefit from training your pet to stay away from them.

Syracuse Pest Extermination

Although many people want to get rid of fleas, ticks, or other pests on their own, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to do it on your own, not to mention expensive! Fox Pest Control offers an over-the-phone quote or a no-obligation inspection in person, all for free. 50,000 American homeowners have opted into our Home Protection Plan, which covers crawling and stinging insects and rodent control.

When you call Fox for top-notch protection services in your Syracuse home, you’re not just hiring a company. You’re joining a family that cares about you and your pet’s wellness and safety. We get the job done right the first time. Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on April 10, 2020.

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